Marguerite Bricker says her husband of 20, Gary Bliss, didn’t really want to commit suicide on June 11. He cut his wrist, police were called, Bliss fired a pellet gun at officers. Police fired back. State police say that Bliss’ shooting death is one of several recent incidents that could be called “suicide by cop,” in which a person deliberately acts in a threatening way to trigger a lethal response, says the Wilmington News-Journal.
Dr. Laurence Miller, a clinical and forensic psychologist and law enforcement professor in Florida, said “suicide by cop” is an ambiguous category. Carol Tavani, a neuropsychiatrist, said this type of suicide is “essentially the same mechanism that would cause people to commit suicide for any reason: that they are desperate and depressed and they don’t see any way out.”