ArticlesWeapon Location Following Suicidal Gunshot WoundsGaravaglia, Jan C. M.D.; Talkington, Billy B.S.Author Information From the Bexar County Forensic Science Center, San Antonio, Texas (J.C.G.), and the Campus Police, University of Texas-Dallas, Richardson, Texas (B.T.), U.S.A. Manuscript received July 2, 1998; accepted July 2, 1998. This paper was presented at the National Association of Medical Examiners Meeting, February 1994, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jan C. Garavaglia, Bexar County Forensic Science Center, 7337 Louis Pasteur, San Antonio, TX 78229-4565, U.S.A. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 1999 - Volume 20 - Issue 1 - p 1-5 Buy Abstract The location of the gun following suicidal gunshot wound was studied by reviewing 574 such deaths in which the scene was investigated by a medical examiner investigator and the body was examined at the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office in San Antonio, Texas. The position of the gun could not be established in 76 cases. In the remaining 498 cases, the gun remained in the deceased's hand in 24% of the cases. In 69% of the cases, the gun was on or near the body but not in the hand (i.e., touching the body or within 30 cm of the body). The gun was found >30 cm from the body in the remaining 7% of cases. In the case of handguns, the gun was found in the hand in 25.7% of individuals. For individuals using long guns, the firearm was in the hand of the decedent in 19.5% of cases. The gun had a greater chance of remaining in the deceased's hand if the person was lying or sitting when the gunshot wound was received. Variables such as gender of the individual, wound location, and caliber of handgun were not significant in predicting whether the gun stayed in the hand after a suicidal gunshot wound. © 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.