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Man Commits Suicide at Bellevue Gun Safety Class

A 50-year-old man shot himself in the head at a gun safety class at West Coast Armory last Sunday. The King County Medical Examiner ruled the man's death a suicide.

A man committed suicide by shooting himself in the head at West Coast Armory's Range and Gun Shop during a lesson on Sunday, March 10, authorities said.

Bellevue Police spokeswoman Officer Carla Iafrate said that it appeared to be a planned suicide and no one else was injured. The King County Medical Examiner confirmed that the 50-year-old man killed himself with a handgun.

The man was taking a gun safety class, which provided the guns and ammunition to the students as part of the class, Iafrate said.

West Coast Armory, located at 13216 SE 32nd St. in Bellevue, offers a $75, three-hour entry-level handgun course on Sundays, which is meant to teach the basics about gun handling and ownership, and supplies firearms in various calibers and ammunition for participants for practice at the gun range.

A message left with West Coast Armory has not been returned.

A man who told Patch that he witnessed the event said the man shot himself in front of all the other participants during the practice portion of the class at the range, when participants were handling firearms. 

The man, who asked that his name not be used, said that the man who shot himself had appeared lonely and "deflated" during the classroom portion of the class and never spoke to anyone or raised his hand to ask questions.

The man said he thought there was nothing the class instructors could have done to stop the suicide.

"Anytime someone is standing there with a gun pointed at his head, there's nothing anyone could have done to stop him from shooting himself," the man said.

The man said that though the incident was shocking and traumatic, he still is planning to purchase a firearm for home protection.

"I still think it's a valid home defense," he said.

Lise Quinn March 17, 2013 at 10:16 PM
"Anytime someone is standing there with a gun pointed at his head, there's nothing anyone could have done to stop him from shooting himself," the man said." Except for guns not being available.
Jason F. March 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Lise, can you move to another less-free country? Really? No guns, ever? What are we 5? That argument is terrible. Please try again.
Judy Wiggins March 19, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Life is to short for all the shooting, learn to love God, than learn to love ur self.
Lise Quinn March 19, 2013 at 03:28 PM
J-Rod, you should consider Somalia, they did away with their federal government (small is better right, non-existent should be fantastic for you!). Everything is handled locally, many times with guns. There it's true, the ones with the most guns wins. And, there's no repercussions if you kill someone, as long as you still have your guns.
Alex Wright May 08, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Lise, you Anti-2nd Amendment advocates are un-American because you don't believe in our Constitution. If you don't support our Founding Fathers then get out. Go move to North Korea where they have no rights, you'd love it there!
Lise Quinn May 08, 2013 at 03:46 PM
I believe that the constitution belongs to the people. And if the people want to change it, we will. That is what amendments are all about. We have done it several times. And if we need to (if the majority of the population decides to) we will. That just may be what we need, the clarification and redefinition of the right to own a gun. And while we're telling people where to go - why don't you move to Somalia. There is no government to 'interfere' with your belief that you should own a gun. No laws, no nothing, just a 'wild west' environment that you seem to be aching for.
Alex Wright May 08, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Do some actual RESEARCH before you spout your brainwashed mainstream media comments. Go to www.fbi.gov or look at the Justice Department's website and you'll find: Gun violence down 66% since 1993. 73% of fatal shootings are gang related. You're more than welcome to verify that from the Justice Department and FBI's own website.
Alex Wright May 08, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Gun violence down 66% since 1993. 73% of fatal shootings are gang related.Visit www.fbi.gov to start informing yourself and stop being brainwashed by mainstream media hype and get the ACTUAL numbers from FBI and Justice Department.
Alex Wright May 09, 2013 at 02:38 AM
Wake up. Drugs are illegal and criminals still get them illegally (because the CIA ships most of them in ON RECORD). They will get ahold of guns if they're banned too (which the CIA and White House traffic directly to criminals, ON RECORD. Attorney General Eric Holder last year with Operation Fast & Furious for example). But I wouldn't count on you being educated on any of that.
Lise Quinn May 09, 2013 at 02:55 AM
So, does that mean you stand on the corner and hand them drugs? And I agree with your comparison of drug addicts to gun addicts, they have a lot in common, mostly that they will do and say anything to get their 'fix'. As to your claims of gun violence being down, trending lower - then why do you need to arm yourselves to the hilt if things are safer? Paranoid much? And, beyond that, let's look at stats of gun ownership in correlation to that drop in gun violence: In 1993 the gun ownership level was at 42%. In 2011 the gun ownership level was at 36% A drop of gun ownership by just 6% and we have a 66% drop in gun violence! Spectacular! Isn't that great! Doesn't that prove that if you want less gun violence then have less guns. Source: Gallup Inc, Gun Owners of America Research Date: 4.28.2013 http://www.statisticbrain.com/gun-ownership-statistics-demographics/ If you want to continue arguing a point you made for me, why don't you do it on a current thread, not something from over a month ago

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