First reported 9/16/2010 5:06 P.M.

A 52-year-old Downers Grove man committed suicide in Brookfield on Sept. 16 alongside the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks in the 8600 block of Brookfield Avenue.

According to police, the man shot himself in the head with a small silver handgun, which was recovered from the man’s right hand.

Karen Matas, who lives across the street, said she heard what sounded like a firecracker or gunshot at about 4 p.m., but she didn’t see anything until police began arriving at the scene about 10 to 15 minutes later.

Brookfield police Lt. James Episcopo said the department received a call at 4:15 p.m. from railroad officials after a train conductor reported a body lying near the tracks, shielded from the street by a stand of pine trees.

Train traffic in both directions was slowed but not interrupted during the police investigation on the north side of the railroad right of way, which lasted until about 5:15 p.m.

– Bob Uphues