BAY ST. LOUIS, Mississippi  The Sun-Herald reports Bay Police Chief Mike De Nardo was being relieved of his duties before he fatally shot himself in the chest Thursday, Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said.

Adam said two deputies were at the Bay St. Louis Police Department assisting the city in confiscating equipment and escorting De Nardo from the station.

“That’s where it kind of went bad, I guess,” Adam said.

Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said De Nardo was being suspended pending an investigation by an outside agency. He gave no further details on the suspension.

Adam declined to comment on whether De Nardo’s suspension was connected to an ongoing Sheriff’s Office investigation into the city’s handling of a Department of Justice forfeiture fund.

Witnesses said De Nardo had been speaking with two Hancock deputies and a commotion broke out.

The witnesses said after he shot himself, he was alert and was even speaking as he was placed in the ambulance.

He was rushed to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport about 3 p.m. Coast law enforcement officials blocked intersections along U.S. 90 for the ambulance.

Fillingame said he is “devastated” over the loss of De Nardo and was headed to the hospital to check on De Nardo’s family.

“He is very much beloved and is going to be missed,” Fillingame said. “We ask for everyone’s prayers. May God bless him.”

Bay St. Louis City Hall closed early after the news of De Nardo’s death.

De Nardo was pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m. at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, said Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk.

Faulk said De Nardo died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. The coroner said an autopsy will be performed at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning at the Mississippi Forensics Lab in Pearl.

Faulk said he could not comment on any other details regarding the case.