Early in the investigation it was unclear how the man died. Around 8 p.m. when the medical examiner arrived detectives say they suspected the death to be suicide.
Seniors at El Capitan High School told CBS News 8 they frequently use the alley where the unidentified man's body was found as a shortcut.
"It's really shocking, honestly. Not something you expect to see on your walk home from school," Darrick McPheron said.
According to sheriff's department spokesperson Lt. Glenn Giannantonio, the man who found the deceased body called 911 and said he witnessed another man pick up a firearm from the victim's lap and leave with it. That man was described to have an injured eye. Detectives questioned that man and learned he took the gun to keep away from the children.
Investigators located a gun about 50 yards away from the scene, as well as evidence from a nearby dumpster.
Detectives recommend if you or someone you know is suicidal to call the crisis hotline at (800) 479-3339