Mike S. Adams’ death ruled a suicide


Photo of Mike S. Adams on UNCW’s sociology and criminology page as of 2020.

Caitlyn Dark, News Editor

Former UNC Wilmington professor Mike S. Adams’ sudden July 23 death has been ruled as a suicide, according to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office in a press release this afternoon.

Police were called to conduct a welfare check on Adams on July 23, after an acquaintance reported that they had not heard from Adams after he allegedly had been acting “erratic” and stressed for several weeks prior. Later that day authorities reported a deceased body was found in the house, confirming the identity as Adams later that evening. 

Details of the 911 call and initial investigation were released the next day on July 24, indicating that Adams had suffered a gunshot wound and a handgun was taken as evidence but did not confirm the cause of death at the time.

Earlier this afternoon, county officials announced that Adams’ death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, saying in a news release:

“Detectives began their investigation in partnership with the medical examiner and it was ascertained that Mr. Adams committed suicide with a single gunshot wound to the head.”

The release continues to say that at the time of the incident there was no one else present in the residence and the sheriff’s office currently does not suspect foul play. 

UNCW released a campus-wide message on July 23 from the Division of Academic Affairs concerning the initial reports of Adams’ death, saying:

“It is with sadness that we share the news that the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation involving Dr. Mike Adams, professor of criminology. Please keep his friends and loved ones in your thoughts. Students may call the University Counseling Center (910-962-3746) for grief support; faculty and staff can seek support through the Employee Assistance Program.”

Adams, a former professor of sociology and criminology at UNCW, was set to start his retirement this Saturday, following controversy surrounding his numerous offensive and prejudiced remarks on his social media.