BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — An officer who was issued a gun to save lives ended up taking his own this week.
In a shocking turn of events, Bay St. Louis Police Chief Mike DeNardo committed suicide right out side the police headquarters moments after being relieved of duty.
Several deputies and the mayor were sent to the station to assist in escorting DeNardo from the office after he was suspended from his position without pay pending an investigation, according to Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam.
"At that time, it just kind of went bad, " Adam said.
DeNardo shot himself once in the chest while in the station parking lot, authorities said. He was was taken to the hospital where he later died from the wound, officials said.
As of yet, county officials haven't released the reason for the investigation.
Many in the small Mississippi community are stunned.
"I hold him in high regard," resident David Wells said. "And I'm saddened, and I'm shocked."
DeNardo joined the Bay St. Louis police force in 2004 before leading as the department's chief for almost six years, reports said.