A doctor at the El Paso VA Health Care System was shot today and the shooter apparently shot and killed himself, officials said a preliminary investigation shows.

Is there a single verb that can correctly replace 'killed himself' in the above sentence?


Suicide is indeed used as a verb:

Her husband suicided three years ago. Just like a man!—Lucy Maud Montgomery, 1917, Anne's House of Dreams

Seems a lady poet suicided at Verringer's ranch in Sepulveda canyon one time.—Raymond Chandler, 1953, The Long Goodbye

It is though less common than "commit suicide". And neither would be likely as direct substitutes for "and killed himself" here. The "and killed himself" in the original is a causal use of and; he shot himself and the consequence of that was that he killed himself. Both suicide and "commit suicide" cover the precipitating motivation as well as the action, so it doesn't come after the shooting.

"…suicided by shooting himself…" is about the closest you'll get in rephrasing, and the total number of words is hence the same.


You could turn suicide into a verb quite easily: he suicided.

  • 1
    You would need a comma: "He shot, killing himself." – Robusto Jan 7 '15 at 1:51

The English tend to use the word topped, as in "she topped herself in her flat night before last".

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