Characterization of the gunshot suicides

Balci Y., Canogullari G., ULUPINAR E.

Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol.14, no.4, pp.203-208, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The aim of this study is to present the characteristics of gunshot suicides by highlighting the ones with multiple entrance wounds. The criminal investigation reports of suicides (n = 318) during the period 1991-2000, in the central judicial district of Eskisehir were investigated. 20.4% of all suicide cases (n = 65) used firearms. Firearm suicides were more common in males and their frequency decreased as age increased. The usage of long-barrelled weapons was 47.7%. Among the long-barrelled gunshots, twelve were shotguns and the remaining were military riffles. Forty-five weapons were legal. Thirty-four out of 45 gunshot suicide victims had licensed weapons because of their occupations. In the majority of cases, (72.3%) the shooting distance was contact or near contact. Most of the entrance wounds (75.0%) were located in the head and neck region and the direction of the bullet path was upward and front-to-back. Of all the gunshot suicides, 6.1% (n = 4) had multiple entrance and exit wounds. All of the victims were soldiers. In suicide cases using long-barrelled weapons (3/4), military rifles were set on automatic mode. In our study, at least eight of the victims survived for a period. To be able to increase the survival rate of the victims or improve the outcomes, intensive pre- and post-operative care is critical. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd and FFLM.