SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Autopsy results have determined that the adult son of Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Monday.
Matthew Warren, 27, died at approximately 10 a.m. on Friday, according to an Orange County Sheriff’s-Coroner’s Office spokesman. Deputies were notified of his death about 5:30 p.m., officials said.
Members of Warren’s evangelical megachurch in Lake Forest opened their Sunday morning service in prayer for the pastor and his wife, Kay, who were not in attendance after the church officially announced Matthew took his own life at his Mission Viejo home.
But Warren did take to Twitter on Sunday to thank churchgoers for their sympathy and support.
“Kay and I are overwhelmed by your love, prayers, and kind words,” he wrote. “You are all encouraging our #brokenhearts.”
Church officials said the younger Warren struggled with mental illness, deep depression and suicidal thoughts throughout his life.
Pastor Tom Holladay, Warren’s brother-in-law, told the congregation at Saddleback they would face the tragedy “as a church family.”
“What can you do for Rick and Kay? Well, you can pray for ‘em,” Holladay said. “Those prayers mean more than you can imagine.”