Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Autopsy: Pastor Rick Warren's Son Matthew Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

We need to hear from you.
Today during our spring member drive, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

An autopsy conducted on the body of 27-year-old Matthew Warren, youngest son of Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren, confirmed the young man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Warren's approximate time of death was 10 a.m. on Friday, April 5, according to an Orange County Sheriff's-Coroner's Office spokesman, reports City News Service.

These autopsies are standard procedure when suicide is suspected say authorities, according to the L.A. Times, who also report officials said today "they are still investigating whose weapon was used" when Warren took his own life.

Warren's body was found at about 5:30 p.m. Friday inside his Mission Viejo home.

Support for LAist comes from

A statement issued by Saddleback Church indicated Warren had suffered from deep depression and suicidal thoughts for some time, but treatment didn't seem to help.

Sunday, Pastor Rick Warren, author of the influential tome "The Purpose-Driven Life," shared on Twitter:

"[Rick] Warren did not attend Sunday services at his Saddleback Church in Orange County, where worshippers opened the meeting with a prayer for the family," adds the Associated Press. In a post titled "Matthew Warren's Suicide and God's Grace," a Christian Post columnist writes:

The announced sermon for [Sunday's] services at Saddleback Church was titled, "Surviving Tough Times." It was a theme Pastor Rick Warren planned earlier in the week. He had no way to know how appropriate his subject would be.

Not all reactions to Matthew Warren's death have been warm and caring. USA Today reports that "a shocking number [of people] are taking this moment of media attention to lash out at Warren on the digital tom-toms. The attacks are aimed at him personally and at his Christian message."

Among Pastor Warren's public responses since his son's death is the following:

The family was making funeral arrangements today, Kriston Cole, a spokeswoman for Rick Warren, said.

Previously: Son Of 'The Purpose Driven Life' Pastor Rick Warren Has Committed Suicide

Most Read