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Mayor: Chief suspended just prior to shooting

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Bay St. Louis police chief Mike DeNardo has died from what is being reported as a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to multiple reports.

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. Sheriff Ricky Adam would not say whether it was connected to a continuing Sheriff's Office investigation into Bay St. Louis' handling of a U.S. Justice Department forfeiture fund, the Sun-Herald newspaper of Biloxi reported.

For now, Bay Saint Louis residents like Sam Moore say they'll always remember former Chief Mike DeNardo fondly.

Hancock Chief Deputy Don Bass confirmed that DeNardo shot himself and died Thursday afternoon.

Baria said he saw DeNardo Wednesday night and he appeared to be fine.

DeNardo was standing outside a vehicle in the police station's parking lot when he shot himself, Bass said.

The scene outside of the Bay St. Louis Police Department following the unexpected suicide
The scene outside of the Bay St. Louis Police Department following the unexpected suicide

"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.

Adam and Fillingame said it's a dark day for their community.

Bass said city administrators told the sheriff's office that DeNardo had turned in some of his equipment earlier.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation sent forensic technicians to the scene to assist the sheriff's office in the investigation, said Warren Strain, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

DeNardo was being escorted from the police department at the request of the mayor, Adam said.

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