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.