February 26, 2015 / 8:46 PM / 5 years ago

Missouri state auditor, a candidate for governor, dies in apparent suicide: police

(Reuters) - Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich, a Republican candidate for governor, died on Thursday in an apparent suicide at his home in suburban St. Louis, police said.

Schweich, 54, had been re-elected in November after serving for four years and announced a month ago he would seek his party’s nomination for governor.

Police were called to Schweich’s house in Clayton, Missouri, shortly before 10 a.m. and found him with a gunshot wound, Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy told a news conference.

“Everything at this point suggests that it is an apparent suicide,” Murphy said, adding Schweich’s family was cooperating with the investigation.

Schweich was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead of a single gunshot wound, Murphy said, declining to say where the bullet struck him. A handgun was used and at least one family member was in the house at the time, he said.

Murphy said investigators were talking to Schweich’s family and friends. An autopsy is expected to be conducted on Friday, he said.

Schweich, a lawyer and former acting assistant secretary in the U.S. State Department, was “a brilliant, devoted and accomplished public servant who dedicated his career to making Missouri and the world a better place,” Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said in a statement.

Nixon ordered flags lowered to half-staff in honor of Schweich.

Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Mo; Editing by Eric Beech and Peter Cooney

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