Laura Spearsof Orlando Age: 48 Date of suicide: Nov. 18, 2012 Weapon: .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver Laura Spears had lived for 25 years with her husband's handgun in a holster atop a bedside nightstand. "She didn't have a lot of experience with guns," said husband Michael Spears. "She was afraid of them." But on Nov. 18, while he was in his office in their guesthouse out back, she used the gun to shoot herself in the chest. When he found her, he was puzzled. He saw no wound and no blood. "I grabbed her hand. It was cold. I touched her face. It was cool, cold. I knew something was wrong, but I didn't see any trauma initially," he said. "Then I looked at the nightstand. The holster was empty." His wife suffered from long-term but not debilitating depression, he said. She was on medication for depression and had undergone therapy. She was able to hold a job and described her depression as feeling displaced or ill at ease, he said. But she was upset about the upcoming holidays, according to an Orange County Sheriff's Office report. Thanksgiving was four days away. "She was very depressed, saying she just couldn't take it anymore," according to the report. Does her husband regret keeping a handgun in the open? "My knee-jerk response is, 'Of course,' he said. But she was an adult, he said; she was methodical; she left a note. It's clear she was intent on ending her life," he said. "She shot herself through the heart."
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