Bay Saint Louis residents begging for answers

Bay Saint Louis residents begging for answers
Residents say they want to know why the incident happened. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Residents say they want to know why the incident happened. (Photo source: WLOX News)

The city of Bay St. Louis is still reeling from the sudden death of its police chief.

Just one day after officials say Police Chief Mike DeNardo shot himself in the parking lot of the police station, residents are desperate for answers.

"I saw the crime scene tape and I saw an officer sitting in the grass just crying his eyeballs out," said Kim Trahan. "I'm like, 'what's going on, what happened, we want to know.'"

On Friday, the Associated Press reported that DeNardo was reported being investigated for illegally selling firearms. Though ATF officials will not confirm the investigation, 'What happened' is the question many people want answered.

However, Bay Saint Louis Mayor Les Fillingame says it is out of his hands and not in the forefront of his thoughts.

"Our focus right now is on healing. We have a lot of employees, and a lot of our police department, that were extremely close to Mike DeNardo are in need of support from each other and we're working through all of that right now," said Fillingame.

According to the mayor, the community is stepping up to the plate during a difficult time.

"There's an overwhelming outpouring of support from the community. There has been an endless number of phone calls, people offering anything they could do to help in this situation," Fillingame said of the situation no one saw coming. "That is the biggest shocker of the whole thing is that it was so far removed from anybody's expectations," said Fillingame.

Now, Fillingame believes it's time for the surrounding community to pull together through the dark time.

Waveland resident, Paul Arseneau said, "I'm shocked, that's for sure. I feel for the family. I'm having a hard time coming up with the right words, I guess."

It's possible that the right words may never come for such a tragedy. For now, the Hancock County Sheriff's Office is overseeing operations at the Bay Saint Louis Police Department.

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