Harriet Deison: Pastor's wife, 65, buys pistol from gun shop and shoots herself dead in the parking lot
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A pastor's wife bought a pistol from a gun shop before shooting herself dead in her Lexus sedan in the store's parking lot, police have said.
Harriet Deison, 65, was found dead in her car near the McClelland Gun Shop in East Dallas, Texas at 2.15pm on Saturday after witnesses heard two shots and smoke coming out of the vehicle.
Police believe Deison, a married mother of two and grandmother to five, shot herself with the pistol she had just purchased from the shop.
The death has been ruled a suicide. Police found no suicide note at the scene and have not provided detail into what led to her death.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will now send an investigator to the shop, a family-run business open since the 1970s.
Dallas police Sgt. Shelley Johnston told the Dallas Morning News that police will determine whether legal procedures were followed before Mrs Deison bought the gun.
In these situations, the ATF reviews the shop's procedures and the application the customer completed before buying the gun, ATF spokesman Andrew Young told the Morning News.
Before the purchase, a customer must fill out a form with personal information, show a government-issued ID and pass a background check. The process takes around 20 minutes, Young said.
Missed: Police have not yet revealed what pushed the 65-year-old grandmother to kill herself
'At that point, if the background check is passed, they buy a gun and walk out with a gun,' Young said, adding that there is no waiting period in the state.
Yet the bureau does tell business owners to refrain from selling firearms to people if they appear drunk, mentally unstable or if it appears they have been coerced into buying the gun.
'We recommend during the application process if there’s anything that seems wrong or illogical, don’t do the sale. It’s not worth the small amount of profit,' he said.
But he said that tragedies can occur despite business owners following the law.
'It's really hard on the dealers when someone buys a gun and takes their life with the gun in the parking lot,' he said.
Scene: She shot herself in the parking lot outside the East Texas shop, pictured, on Saturday afternoon
The shop's owner, Ron Rutledge, has declined to comment on the death.
Mrs Deison was married to Pete Deison, a pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian Church, and was a beloved member of the community, Chattanoogan columnist Roy Exum wrote.
She ran a business, Minwood One Corp., an administrative and services support company.
She 'charmed all of our hearts' and 'exemplified her life into a role model that hundreds of women have followed', Mr Exum wrote.
'I believe she could do anything from arranging flowers to running a big company in Dallas, both of which she did adroitly,' he said.