BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WHLT) — The police chief in Bay St. Louis has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
It happened in the police department parking lot Thursday afternoon.
According to Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame, Chief Michael DeNardo had just been suspended when he shot himself to death in the police department’s parking lot.
Mayor Fillingame said Chief DeNardo was suspended, pending an investigation by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.
He wouldn’t give further details, but said he believed DeNardo would have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Hancock County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Don Bass says city administrators told the sheriff’s office that DeNardo had turned in some of his equipment earlier. He said he believes the police chief was still in uniform when the shooting happened.
Bass says investigators know of no witnesses to the shooting, and he is unsure who found the body and reported the shooting.
The Bay St. Louis City Council has allowed for the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office to temporarily take over management and patrols for the police department to heal.
Captain Wesley Malley has been named interim chief.
Warren Strain of the Mississippi Department of Public safety said The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department is the primary agency conducting the investigation. Forensic tech were sent to the scene to assist the sheriff’s office.