The youngest son of Pastor Rick Warren died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, an autopsy conducted Monday determined, but officials say they are still investigating whose weapon was used.
Jim Amormino, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, said Matthew Warren died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound about 10 a.m. Friday at his home in Mission Viejo. Such autopsies are usually performed when suicide is suspected, authorities said Saturday afternoon.
Amormino said coroner’s officials are not releasing the type of weapon used and are still investigating the origins and ownership of the gun.
Matthew Warren was found at his home on Pradera Drive about 5:25 p.m. Friday, according to coroner’s officials.
Rick Warren, a world-famous Orange County evangelical pastor, and his wife released a statement informing his congregation at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest that his youngest son had committed suicide after battling depression for much of his life.
Matthew was an “incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate man. He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He’d then make a beeline to that person to engage and encourage them,” the statement said.
The statement said Matthew Warren took his life “in a momentary wave of despair” following an evening with Warren and his wife.
“Kay and I’ve been privileged to hold your hands as you faced a crisis or loss,” the statement said. “Today we need your prayers for us.”