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Contestant commits suicide

LONGVIEW, Texas (AP) — A participant in an endurance contest with a truck as its prize walked away from the event Thursday on its third day, broke into a store, found a shotgun and killed himself, police said.

Richard Vega, 24, of Tyler, left the "Hands on a Hardbody" contest at a Nissan dealership around 6 a.m., about the time that a break was called, said police Sgt. Carlos Samples.

Except for breaks, the rules require contestants to stand with one hand flat on a truck at all times. The contestant who holds out longest drives the truck home.

Vega crossed the street to a Kmart, broke the glass in the front door, climbed through, then went to the sporting goods department and took up a 12-gauge shotgun, police said. Officers were coming in the front of the store as Vega approached from the back.

Vega was ordered to drop the weapon, Samples said.

"He took a few steps back and actually fired the gun at himself and killed himself," Samples said.

The officer said police don't know why Vega committed suicide.