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A new method of suicides among teenagers in Sri Lanka: a case report


Janaki Warushahennadi

University of Ruhuna, Karapitiya, Galle, LK
About Janaki
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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Suicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents in the world. Although the firearm injuries are a common method of suicide in the United States, it is not common in Sri Lanka. We want to report the first case of teenage suicide with a firearm injury in Sri Lanka and describe the unusual mechanism the victim used to fire the gun.


Case report

A 16 years old teenager who had 2 previous suicidal attempts was found dead with a close-range shotgun injury on the front chest. The shotgun which belonged to his father was fixed on to a 5 feet tall coconut tree in a wedge between the stem and the leave facing the free end of the barrel towards the victim. A suicidal letter was at the scene. There was a single firearm entry wound on the front mid chest wall with a rim of burning and blackening. The measurements of the arm length and the barrel revealed that the child could stand in front of the gun and stretch the arm and pushed the trigger.



The manner of death was determined as suicidal. This case report highlights the new method of suicide of adolescents in Sri Lanka. Also, this case report confirms the importance of protecting the scene which was helpful to determine the manner of death. Seeking professional health care services including counselling of these adolescents with high risk could prevent this kind of tragic events.

How to Cite: Warushahennadi, J., 2017. A new method of suicides among teenagers in Sri Lanka: a case report. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 5(2), pp.29–31. DOI:
Published on 28 Dec 2017.
Peer Reviewed


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