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Spokesman: State auditor dead following self-inflicted gunshot wound

The spokesman for Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich confirmed Thursday afternoon Schweich is dead following a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Spokesman Spence Jackson said the incident happened at the auditor’s home in Clayton. The shooting also occurred just minutes after Schweich had called The Associated Press to invite a reporter to his home for an afternoon interview.

Schweich said he wanted to go public with accusations that the Missouri Republican Party chairman had made anti-Semitic remarks about him. The GOP chairman denied the accusations Thursday.

Clayton Police held a news conference Thursday afternoon to address what happened Thursday morning. Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy said officers responded to reports of a gunshot wound at 9:48 Thursday morning.

When officers arrived, they found Schweich with a single gunshot wound. Murphy said there was one family member home when officers got to the home.

Schweich was later pronounced dead at Barnes Jewish Hospital.

Murphy said, “We know this was an act of Mr. Schweich’s own hand, and his family is cooperating with the investigation.”

A prayer vigil was organized Thursday afternoon. in the Missouri House at the state Capitol in Jefferson City.

Governor Nixon has ordered all flags be lowered to half-staff to honor Schweich.

Nixon issued the following statement, “I join all Missourians in mourning the passing of State Auditor Tom Schweich, a brilliant, devoted and accomplished public servant who dedicated his career to making Missouri and the world a better place,” Gov. Nixon said. “From his courageous work to combat the illegal drug trade abroad in Afghanistan to his tireless efforts to protect the interests of taxpayers here in Missouri, Tom Schweich’s exceptional intellect and unwavering dedication to public service left a legacy that will endure for many years to come. The First Lady and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Tom’s wife Kathy and two children, Emilie and Thomas, Jr.”

Click here to read more reaction from people who worked with Schweich.

Schweich was a Republican who won re-election to a second, four-year term in November. He announced a month ago that he is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2016.

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