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Rick Warren Says Late Son Got Illegal Gun on Internet

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Pastor Rick Warren said Thursday that his son, Matthew, purchased an unregistered gun over the Internet. It was that weapon that he used to take his own life last week after years of battling mental illness.

“Someone on the Internet sold Matthew an unregistered gun.  I pray he seeks God’s forgiveness. I forgive him. #MATTHEW 6:15,” Warren tweeted Thursday.

California requires background checks on all gun purchases, and it is a federal offense to deface a firearm’s serial number.

An autopsy revealed Matthew Warren died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound last Friday. On Saturday, the Warren family sent a message about their son’s death to the Saddleback Church community, where Rick Warren has been pastor for over 30 years.

“Our youngest son, Matthew, age 27, and a lifelong member of Saddleback, died today,” Rick Warren wrote.  ”Only those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts.  In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided.  Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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