A Greenwich High School student committed suicide this week, just hours after his first day of classes. A preliminary investigation revealed that 15-year old Bart Palosz died Tuesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Greenwich Police Lieutenant Craig Gray told WTNH that Palosz used a weapon that was stored inside a gun locker at his home. "The firearm was a family firearm, and it had been secured inside a gun safe," said Gray.
Matthew Miller is an associate director of Harvard’s School of Public Health. He’s studied the association between rates of household firearm ownership and rates of violent death. He said, "What we know is that suicide risk is much higher if you live in a home with a gun, especially for impulsive actors like teenagers." Miller says young people often know where guns are in a home and are likely to handle them without adult supervision. "In order to maximize the benefit of having a lock, you have to make really sure that the people who shouldn’t have access to it don’t. The other epidemiological fact is that regardless of how a gun is stored in the home, because people can gain access to it, its better not to have a gun than to have a gun in the home, all else equal, from the perspective of suicide risk."
Gun advocates argue that people who would commit a firearm suicide would use an equally lethal method if weapons are unavailable.
An investigation into the death of the Greenwich student’s death is ongoing.