Gun Used In Matthew Warren Suicide 'Probably' Didn't Belong To Him, Says Investigator

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Investigators are still trying to determine how Matthew Warren, 27, obtained the gun he used to end his life last Friday.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) spokesman Jim Amormino said that Warren was "probably not" the owner of the weapon, reports the Los Angeles Times. Warren died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside his home in Mission Viejo, Calif.

Gun registration documents are private in the state of California, but permits to carry a concealed weapon are public record and available locally. The OCSD confirmed to HuffPost that Warren had never applied for a CCW license through the department.

Warren was the son of evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren, one of the most prominent Christian leaders in the United States and the author of best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life.

In an emotional letter released Saturday, Pastor Rick Warren shared the news of his son's death with the members of Saddleback Church.

He praised his son's compassion and sensitivity but revealed Matthew Warren's lifelong struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

"But only those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts," Pastor Rick Warren wrote. “In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided."

Matthew Warren's death has since sparked a discussion about mental illness, religion and gun laws.

In a blog for HuffPost, psychologist Dr. Gregory Jantz contrasted Warren's suicide to the recent massacres perpetrated by others who may have suffered from mental illness. Dr. Jantz argues that while gun control is a logical policy change to focus on, reform won't be complete without addressing mental illness. From the blog:

The harder issue, the more complicated issue, is what do we do with the mentally ill in our society? Do we quietly allow them to harm themselves, as long as they don't take anyone else with them? How far are we willing to go to protect people, from others and from themselves? Are we willing to take away a person's liberty? And, if so, on what basis?

Matthew Warren's memorial service will be a private ceremony. Saddleback Church has also set up a fund in his name to help fight mental illness.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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