In John Wick: Chapter 2, John is tasked with killing a woman. When he approaches to fulfill his task, she slices her own wrists and gets in a warm tub, claiming that she wants to die on her own terms. Had he walked away and reported (mostly accurately), that she was already dead before he could complete his contract, he could have fulfilled the spirit of his obligation (that she is dead so the man who hired John could go ahead with his plans) but without the consequences of having been the one to kill her.

So why did he shoot her?

  • 1
    No need to be so conscious about spoiler, main rule is to keep question title as spoiler free as you can while keeping it meanigful, which AJ's title already doing it.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Mar 20, 2017 at 10:06
  • I'm guessing the answer is either in the wording of the request (to shoot her in the head for example), or in some way the rules assassins follow in this world.
    – CyberClaw
    Mar 20, 2017 at 13:07
  • 3
    I thought he was making sure that she's really dead. Mar 21, 2017 at 6:27
  • Because John Wick is a man of purpose, focus and determination, as explained to Josef in the original movie.
    – FMB
    Jul 7, 2017 at 16:48

6 Answers 6


If he had not shot her before she bled out, then he would not have fulfilled his debt. Even if he could have convinced the person he owed the debt to that he had slashed her wrists, he would have known himself that he hadn't.

That was not explicitly stated in the movie, but I believe his strict sense of ethics (principles? morals?) were very plainly shown. Well, until the end scene in the hotel, that is.


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John Wick needed to be the one to end Gianna D'Antonio's life, otherwise the debt was not paid.

Yes, that's a technicality, Gianna was dying after having slashed her own wrists and John could have just left her to bleed out. But that wouldn't have been fulfilling the "Marker" and in that world, they live by their rules and technicalities. Santino would have just found another "job" for John to have to complete.

John wanted the debt ended, so when Gianna slashed her own wrists, he needed to ensure that she was killed by his bullet specifically. In that case, even if Santino had claimed that she had tried to commit suicide then John would easily prove that he was the one who ended her life.

Santino was obviously paranoid about the whole event, which is why he ensured that his people kill John after the deed was done. Given that, Santino would have suspected that John had ample time to talk to Gianna. However, in this way, John could claim that he immediately shot Gianna as soon as she tried to commit suicide. Whereas leaving her to bleed out would have alerted Santino to the fact that her and John had a nice conversation before her death.


Bleeding to death from your wrists isn't a really successful way to die and takes time. Much time. John Wick would have to sit there a long period and wait until she is really dead. Enough time for help to arrive, or other gangsters that want John Wick dead. Doing what he did was the fastest way for him to do the contract himself, be sure she's dead and still semi-comply to her wish of doing it her way. After that he could flee.


John Wick is catholic. She asks John if he worries about damnation prior to her death, which his response is yes. Suicide is a mortal sin in the Catholic Church. Had John allowed Gianna to take her life her soul would be definitely damned. John Wick shoots her before she bleeds out to spare her her soul. It has nothing to do with fulfillment of his bond. It has to do with Wick choosing to try and save Gianna’s soul.

  • That's a stretch- she's a crime boss and he is a master assassin with innumerable deaths on his slate. That's probably enough to be worried about damnation if you believe in that kind of thing. Its also unclear as to whether he shoots her 'to make sure' rather than to ensure she doesn't die by her own hand.
    – iandotkelly
    Mar 19, 2018 at 14:16

I'm surprised that my take has not been said yet.

I thought it was a mercy. After hearing the truth of the matter, John felt some measure of pity for her, but she had already ensured her death through a painful and slow suicide. He didn't want her to die in pain.

  • If you don't like my answer, please explain why.
    – ViggyNash
    Mar 21, 2018 at 19:38
  • Slashing wrists is not a painful death
    – Trubs
    Dec 6, 2019 at 0:28

You don't know what tricks these people have. It could easily have been fake blood from fake wrists or whatever. If Wick's (or rather the Continental's) connections can get the toys we've seen, why wouldn't anyone else be able to get something just in case to fake a death? In this killer business one must be sure the target is dead, plain and simple.

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