Seinfeld star shoots himself in the head – audio

By Tribute on February 23, 2012 | 49 Comments

Daniel von Bargen, best known for his role as Mr. Kruger on the popular sitcom Seinfeld, remains in a Ohio hospital after a horrific failed suicide attempt in his Cincinnati apartment earlier this week. The actor reportedly shot himself in the head and then just minutes later, called 911 asking for help. In the audio clip of the call, obtained by gossip site TMZ, Von Bargen — who is apparently diabetic — tells the dispatcher that he did it to get out of going to his scheduled hospital appointment because “they were supposed to amputate at least a few toes.” As the operator tries to keep him talking, Von Bargen describes the type of gun he used, that he’s soiled himself, and that he’s unable to open his eyes or move his body. Towards the end of the tape, you can hear law enforcement officials arriving, yelling at him to keep his hands where they can see them and asking if there are any other guns around. Von Bargen, who also starred in the films Super Troopers and the Oscar-nominated O Brother, Where Art Thou?, remains in critical condition.

Listen to the recording of the full 911 call below:

Comments & Discussion

  1. Gina • February 23, 2012 @ 9:07 AM

    So sad

  2. kevin • February 23, 2012 @ 9:18 AM

    im so sorry theres enough shit in this world most people would love to be an actor but i feel sorry for this man because he feels like theres no way out

  3. Deborah Guthro • February 23, 2012 @ 9:31 AM

    This is so sad. I do hope he can recover and get the help he needs.

  4. Nameless • February 23, 2012 @ 10:14 AM

    This just pathetic. If he seriously shot himself in the temple like he’s saying how is he able to have a coherent conversation…would he not have died instantly?

  5. darlene bedard • February 23, 2012 @ 10:32 AM

    well too bad some people have it worse then you my dear at least you can walk, talk and feed yourself you don’t realize how well off you are plus you are making lots of money how about donating to your cause since you are a diabetic!

  6. DD • February 23, 2012 @ 10:41 AM

    This is so incredibly sad

  7. DD • February 23, 2012 @ 10:42 AM

    fyi: Depression is a serious illness

  8. Someone • February 23, 2012 @ 10:45 AM

    Why are people feeling sorry for this guy. He had every ability to ask for help before putting the gun to his head. Suicide is a coward’s way out

  9. birdman_36 • February 23, 2012 @ 11:16 AM

    “Do you know her phone number off the top of your head?”

    No pun intended lol

  10. David • February 23, 2012 @ 11:24 AM

    He was one of my favourite character actors. Did a really great job in The Postman (actually one of the best moments in the movie). Also liked him in Seinfeld. So sad.

  11. Anon • February 23, 2012 @ 11:43 AM

    He’s so composed considering he just shot himself in the temple.

  12. Carol • February 23, 2012 @ 12:23 PM

    Why are you playing the 911 call on this site!! Have you people no compassion at all? You disgust me.

  13. jjjones • February 23, 2012 @ 12:32 PM

    I didn’t listen to the tape, I don’t believe in publizing 911 calls.

    I do feel bad for this guy, I think he probably felt like he was losing some dignity and that is sad.

  14. Dianne • February 23, 2012 @ 1:06 PM

    Depression is so ugly. Unfortunately no one can help him if he doesn’t want help. Calling 911 tells me he really didn’t want to die. Disturbing to hear this call.

  15. Dianne • February 23, 2012 @ 1:08 PM

    I agree Anon…I thought the same thing. He was so composed, and well-spoken. I have a friend who shot himself. He is now blind and can not open one eye.

  16. Lisa • February 23, 2012 @ 1:08 PM

    TMZ is disgusting, and to have the 911 tape played is just disrespectful. Mental illness/depression is nothing to mess around with. This poor man. My heart and prayers go out to him and his family.

  17. pete johnstone • February 23, 2012 @ 1:21 PM

    Everything said now is all hind sight. He should have….why didn’t he….he could have…..bla bla bla bla …..if he is a diabetic now he has been not taking care of himself for a long long time. No sense judging or criticizing…..remember there are another 500 million people that have lots of sicknesses and illness. And if he was thinking the way I think….he wouldn’t have done it……hind sight!!!!!!

  18. JRW • February 23, 2012 @ 1:31 PM

    VERY SAD. I can’t believe they posted the audio of the 911 call. Disgusting. Poor taste.

  19. Charlene fish • February 23, 2012 @ 1:49 PM

    He was in a bad place in his mind when he shot him self, until you’ve been there and felt what he was feeling at that time you cannot judge him. Depression is a real thing and it hurts every one around you. The fact that he called 911 show’s that he wanted to live and that’s a good thing. I hope he pulls through because if he needs a friend we are all here for him, and if he does not May God take him in his arms and holds him tight. Always your fan Charlene .

  20. Tayderhead • February 23, 2012 @ 2:05 PM

    Nameless and Anon…….where are you people reading that he shot himself in the temple?????
    He shot himself in the HEAD. There are more places on our heads than just our temples. This is an example of how SOME people read more into things than what is actually read, written, or spoken. It’s how stories get twisted and untruths are spread around.

  21. Locode • February 23, 2012 @ 2:18 PM

    Good actor, probably better known for his 15 episodes of Malcolm in the Middle rather than 4 episodes of Seinfeld.

    Posting the 911 call is a complete lack of class.

  22. Tammy • February 23, 2012 @ 2:24 PM

    Tayderhead: he admits on the audio that he shot himself in the temple.

    Nameless: I find your comments very inappropriate. Until you have lived depression, you really can’t speak on it. Life isn’t always as easy as you make it sound.

  23. Tayderhead • February 23, 2012 @ 2:30 PM

    Thanks for heads up Tammy. I read the article, didn’t bother listening to the audio tape. My apologies for the attack on the posts from Anon and Nameless.

  24. Susan • February 23, 2012 @ 2:47 PM

    My ex shot himself in the head before I met him and had a long scar from it but was otherwise unhurt. I don’t think losing a couple of toes is a worthy cause for a suicide attempt!

  25. Elaine • February 23, 2012 @ 2:51 PM

    I feel disgusting for listening to this, such a shame that he felt it was the only way out …..I feel so badly for him, these 911 calls should never be published, these are private, intimate moments…….I pray for you Daniel and your family.

  26. max • February 23, 2012 @ 2:56 PM

    I don’t think it was wrong to play the tape. In the long run maybe this just might help someone. Maybe they will get help before it gets to this point.I am sorry that it has to come to this,but am glad he is going to make it.

  27. Linda • February 23, 2012 @ 2:57 PM

    I agree with Charlene Fish – Thank you, beautiful human being. Depression is nothing to laugh about OR be disgusted with ….. If you’ve never been there (Luckily I haven’t, but I have wonderful friends who have and still are)..Actually, I agree with all of your comments people….I’m guilty as everyone of you for even being inquisitive AND listening to the conversation – should never HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO BE AIRED!!! However, look on the positive side – MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, something like this may help someone else in this situation. Those of you who made such insensitive comments – WHY DID YOU LISTEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! Depression is an illness, just as addiction, cancer, heart problems, ALS, ETC… and needs to be FINALLY addressed!
    In my opinion, only, any of you who are so judgemental, should take a look at yourselves for a change….you’re not living in the present – it’s all around us, our friends, family, colleagues, etc…I feel sorry for those of you who have NO compassion for those who are not as strong as YOURSELVES….Must be nice to be so PERFECT, HEH!
    I hope everyone will say a prayer for him, and everyone else in the world who suffers so…WITH ANY ILLNESS. LIFE IS TOO SHORT – so get a life, those of you who are so above everyone else! We will ALL DIE … that’s where it’s at…born to die….so get off your asses, think positively, and be compassionate for others for a change. You never know, it may happen to you or one of your loved ones.
    THEN I’d like to see your responses on the internet…ha ha ha!

  28. Rita • February 23, 2012 @ 3:59 PM

    Csrol – Why are you playing the 911 call on this site!!
    Have you people no compassion at all?
    jjjones – I didnt listen to the tape, I dont believe in
    publizing 911 calls.

    Thats exactly how I feel. That phone call was a kind of Private phone call. None of us has to hear that kind of call!! Please tell Mr. Daniel von Bargen to check out raw foods(recipes) on – If you read this and know him!! Then he will like be vastly Improved(most likely) and probably be cured of his diabetes. Then he probably won’t lose his toes.

  29. Rita • February 23, 2012 @ 4:11 PM

    I completely agree with Pete! Go to a computer and type in Organic Raw Food Recipes and its very very Doubtful you’ll get diabetes.

  30. Rita • February 23, 2012 @ 4:32 PM

    I completely agree with Pete! Go to a computer and type in Organic Raw Food Recipes and its very very Doubtful you’ll get diabetes. On second thought, Max has a good idea. If it helps someone else to get Support than thats a good thing. Afterall you don’t have to listen to it.

  31. Rita • February 23, 2012 @ 4:36 PM

    Whoops! I have to add something to my last comment:
    On second thought, Max has a good idea. If it helps someone else to get Support than thats a good thing. Afterall you don’t have to listen to it. I sure Hope he pulls through!! I’m sorry to hear this!

  32. Jeff • February 23, 2012 @ 5:15 PM

    Agreed. It is in very poor taste to post the call. TMZ may have been a step ahead of you getting the story, but you can stay a cut above them by being a bit more compassionate.

  33. Sheilah • February 23, 2012 @ 5:36 PM

    Unfortunate choice of words “do you remember a phone number off the top of your head”?

    So freakin’ sad…poor man

  34. Jennifer • February 23, 2012 @ 5:36 PM

    I think it’s absolutely disgusting that this 911 call has been posted online. Depression is a serious illness where you feel as though no one can help you. I feel sorry for this man. I hope that he is going to be okay. I pray that he gets the help he needs and that he realizes that he lived through this for a reason.

  35. Charline • February 23, 2012 @ 8:40 PM

    This is such a sad story that he did not go and get help for his sadness and thought that this was the only way that he could deal with it. I agree that stories like this should not be made public as a previous reporter I think there is too much saddess in this world and even sadder people seem to enjoy reading this nonsense. Good Luck to him and I hope he makes a full recovery and seeks help for his depression.

  36. Helen • February 23, 2012 @ 11:04 PM

    I am so sorry for this man, I sure hope that he recovers and can get some help and be happier in his life.

    Best to him,

  37. Caleigh • February 23, 2012 @ 11:50 PM

    It is awful that this call is on the internet. Very bad taste.

  38. Suzanne hallett • February 24, 2012 @ 2:11 AM

    what the hell is wrong with people?? does anyone have a clue what depression is like? just because he is an actor & you think he has money why would he try & kill himself? ignorance is still live & well in good ol america!i did’nt listen to the tape it is none of my buisness! or anyone else’s, & if you people think that this is only over diabetes you are CRAZY! God help that poor man & his loved ones.Peace & love from cape Breton n.s.Canada & SHAME ON YOU! & YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!!

  39. mom2 • February 24, 2012 @ 7:02 AM

    Well said Suzanne. I can’t imagine what this poor man and his family are going through. He sounded frightened by his pending amputation which is at least a few toes. At least sounds unknown. Hopefully, people will learn that suicide is not a solution.

  40. jas • February 24, 2012 @ 12:38 PM


  41. C-Dub • February 24, 2012 @ 3:45 PM

    Why aren’t 911 tapes private? How does this stuff get out? If there are private medical records, wouldn’t this stuff be part of a private medical record?
    And it’s sad that he didn’t want to lose a body part but no point in losing his head over it. Punn might be intented here.
    And up above comments- he might have been coherent, because even if it was a gun, it doesn’t mean the action worked properly. A slight slip of the wrist etc move the bullet and kept him alive and he rethought his action maybe. I’ve seen a show where this kid was shot in the face/head and lost half his brain but survived and graduated college…stuff happens.
    It’s now a case of diabetes, amputation, and now suicide/psychological issues.

  42. Joshua • February 24, 2012 @ 10:49 PM

    Why the f*ck did you post the 911 call? I refused to listen to it.

  43. Tayderhead • February 25, 2012 @ 7:41 AM

    I’m thinking that since he was carrying on a coherent conversation he missed his brain completely but most likely shot out both of his retinae or eyeballs since he was unable to open his eyes. Too sad. Unless they can somehow perform successful eye transplants for him he’ll spend the rest of his life blind AND minus a few toes. It would be the end of his career.

  44. TheTruth • February 25, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

    As soon as I started reading the conversation I knew I didn’t want to listen to it. I don’t agree with the 911 call even being posted, but I 100% understand that it’s better to have than to have not. It is 2012, and there would be as much backlash over censorship and being last to the table of any news story. Though I’m left wondering where are the rights of ones privacy in situation’s like this. Disgusted.

    C-Dub I’m not sure if you meant to or not, but I took away an excellent point from your post… What started out as a possible amputation due to Diabetes, turned into something seemingly far worse. Could this be karma for his cowardice, some sort of cruel sick joke that fate has played on this poor desperate man?

  45. Nancy • March 1, 2012 @ 12:18 AM

    How would you like you’re 911 call be on this?
    I think not. TMZ should be shot for revealing this,
    theoritcally speaking.

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