A Dallas pastor’s wife shot herself to death in the parking lot of the gun shop where she had bought a pistol only moments earlier.
Harriet Deison, 65, was found Saturday inside her Lexus sedan after people inside of McClelland Gun Shop in East Dallas heard two shots and called 911 at about 2:15 p.m., police said.
The Dallas County medical examiner’s office ruled the death a suicide, according to The Dallas Morning News, although no suicide note was discovered.
Ron Rutledge, the shop’s owner, declined to comment over the weekend.
The feds are now reviewing the case to ensure the shop followed the correct legal procedures when they sold Deison — a mother of two and grandmother of five — the gun.
Typically, the application process and background check can take about 20 minutes, said Andrew Young, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
If the buyer passes, he or she can get the gun immediately. But Young told The Morning News that gun dealers are discouraged from making the transaction if the person appears “under duress.”
“We recommend during the application process if there’s anything that seems wrong or illogical, don’t do the sale,” he said. “It’s not worth the small amount of profit.”
On the outside, Deison appeared to live a fulfilling life, according to reports, and some friends were left grappling with why she would kill herself.
Roy Exum, a columnist for The Chattanoogan website, wrote that his family knew Deison and her husband through church. He remembered her friendship with his grandmother.
“Harriet was only several years older than me but back when I would watch her during Sunday lunch with my grandmother … I kinda’ privately figured Harriet was really an angel,” Exum wrote, adding that “Harriet was born into wealth in Dallas but you would have never known it because angels are that way.”
Deison’s obituary described her husband of 44 years, Pete, as the “love of her life.” She was also a businesswoman with a green thumb, taking pride in arranging flowers and gardening.
But her obit hinted at her own hardships.
“Harriet’s gift of compassion and empathy caused her to feel deeply for others in pain,” it said. “She struggled with her own pains and was able to use what she learned to comfort others.”
A memorial for Deison is scheduled for Thursday.