Christopher Christensen jumped to his death from a parking structure at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on December 3, 2022.
Trigger Warning: This article contains details of death and suicide which may be triggering to certain readers. Reader discretion is advised.
Eyewitnesses, including families with kids, saw him jump off the Mickey and Friends parking structure at Disneyland at around 9 pm. Following the incident, Disneyland shut off its tram services, which resulted in park-goers having to walk back to their cars.
On Sunday, the Orange county coroner confirmed Christensen's identity and reported the death as suicide. Christopher was the principal at William T. Newland Elementary School in Huntington Beach.
Christopher Christensen was facing criminal charges before his suicide at Disneyland
According to Fox 11 Los Angeles, the principal shared a Facebook update recently that revealed he was put on "administrative leave" from his position. This happened after a heated argument with his wife landed him in jail.
The 51-year-old was charged with misdemeanor, child endangerment, and battery on November 22, 2022. He was scheduled to appear in court on Monday, December 5, 2022.
Court documents showed that the alleged incident occurred on November 15, 2022, after which Christopher was arrested. He was released two days later on a bail bond of $10,000.
Before his suicide at Disneyland, Chris Christensen shared a lengthy suicide note on his Facebook account on December 3, 2022. He explained that the incident was a misunderstanding and that he had never hurt his wife or kids. The principal added that his wife had called the cops in a fit of rage after a heated argument.
Chris also said that both he and his wife were trying to clear his name but had no success there and that he was about to lose his job. He even pointed out that the legal system was incredibly flawed as it threw him in jail without evidence.
Christopher worked for over 21 years in the educational sector as part of the Fountain Valley School District. He served as the principal of Roch Courreges Elementary, Fulton Middle School, and the now-shut Moiola K-8 School.
In his Facebook post, he described his love for education, mentioned his penchant for music, and spoke about his final performance just a day earlier. He noted that he loved educating and "leading thousands of students and families" over his long career.
In a statement to the school community, Katherine Stopp, the Fountain Valley Superintendent, said that Chris was a respected leader. She said that he made immeasurable contributions to the community and that his death left everyone devastated and heartbroken. Stopp even mentioned that Christensen was a "father, husband, brother, and friend to so many."
In his final post, Christopher implored people to be kind and treat each other better as "anger" can have "can really have long-lasting and extremely damaging effects."
The Mickey and Friends parking lot at Disneyland is the largest in the US, and it has, unfortunately, seen several people jump to death from it.
Christopher Christensen is survived by his wife and five kids. While social media was flooded with posts praying for the family and advocacies for suicide and mental health-related help.