Litigation is pending a year after a Ventnor police sergeant’s girlfriend committed suicide using his service weapon, BreakingAC has learned.
The 41-year-old woman shot herself with the unsecured weapon April 17, 2017, inside the Galloway Township home the couple shared with their five children.
An Internal Affairs investigation into the case involving the nearly 18-year department veteran was recently completed, according to sources.
The names are not yet being released.
Details of pending lawsuits are expected to be announced at a news conference Monday morning at the Egg Harbor Township law office of Paul D’Amato, who is representing the woman’s parents and her two minor children.
Wildwood attorney Oliver Barry is representing the woman’s adult son.
There will also be a discussion of gun-safety responsibility of law enforcement officers when off-duty, mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and will include Kris Brown, co-president of the national Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, who will participate from the headquarters in Washington, D.C., according to a release announcing the news conference.
“Every single day in America, 58 people commit suicide with a gun,” Brown told BreakingAC. “That’s nearly two-thirds of all gun deaths in our country, and that is an absolute national tragedy. Furthermore, guns lead to more than half of all suicides.”
“The Truth About Suicide and Guns” shows a correlation between percentage of homes with guns and percentage of suicides by gun.
“Even more than depression or substance abuse, the strongest predictor of someone committing suicide is the presence of a gun in the home,” Brown said.
New Jersey has the second lowest instance of suicides by gun among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with 1.9 for every 100,000 residents. The state has the third fewest gun owners at 11.3 percent.