Firearm Suicides During Confrontations with Police

GVPedia Study Database

Firearm Suicides During Confrontations with Police

Category: Suicide|Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences (full text)|Author: A Llewellyn, J Pless, M Clark, R Harruff|Year: 1994

We reviewed the case records of suicides in Marion County, Indiana (Indianapolis) and in surrounding counties from 1984 through 1992. Out of 1203 suicides, there were 14 in which armed, on-duty police officers were confronting, pursuing, or apprehending the subject of the death investigation. All subjects were male, and the peak age range was 30 to 34 years. The head, especially the right temple, was the usual site of the fatal wound. More than half of the incidents started as domestic disputes with a wife or girlfriend. Many of the others occurred when police officers pursued or arrested a suspect wanted for a previous felony. Ethanol was involved in less than half of the cases, and drugs were not a factor. In at least four cases, the presence of police was a factor that precipitated the suicide. The histories of the 14 cases demonstrate the potential for controversy and the challenges for forensic scientists investigating suicides during police confrontations.

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