The police chief in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi committed suicide while he was being escorted off city property yesterday. Chef Mike DeNardo shot himself in the chest as two sheriff’s deputies escorted him out of the police dept., at the mayor’s request, after he’d just been relieved of his duties.
Sheriff Ricky Adam said officials were in the process of retrieving DeNardo’s city-issued property– including his keys and weapons– when the shooting took place.
DeNardo was 63 years old and had been with BSLPD since 2004. The Marine vet and former SWAT team commander became chief in 2010, USA Today reported.
“Right now we’re completely in shock at this tragic event and we don’t have the details we need to give us any comfort about what has happened yet,” said Mayor Les Fillingame.
It’s unclear if the suicide had anything to do with the ongoing investigation into missing Dept. of Justice forfeiture funds.
According to a Sun Herald article dated October 31, 2015, affidavits signed by the mayor and police chief in 2014, “certified the city had $298,000” in its DOJ forfeitures account. Money in those accounts, have been seized during joint operations between federal and local law enforcement agencies.
The Sun article goes on to say that in August, officials noticed the money in the forfeitures fund was missing. The issue has since been the subject of “many heated city council meetings as well as ongoing federal and state probes.”
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