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Married Texas principal who killed himself in high school parking lot ‘had been confronted about claims of an affair with his female secretary’

  • Dennis Reeves, 45, shot himself at Kirbyville High School in Texas a week ago
  • Principal had just come out of a meeting with district officials in which they confronted him about allegations he was having an affair with his secretary
  • The married father-of-two denied having an affair with the female employee
  • School officials told him he could resign without an investigation, or risk being fired if it emerged that he was lying about the alleged affair
  • Reeves said he would resign and was escorted out of the school building
  • Police said he shot himself in the head in his truck in the school parking lot

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A Texas principal who committed suicide in a high school parking lot was told he could resign or risk being fired after district officials were made aware of allegations he was having an affair with his secretary.

Dennis Reeves, a married father-of-two, shot himself in his truck at Kirbyville High School, north-east of Houston, a week ago.

The 45-year-old principal had just left a meeting with the district’s superintendent and assistant superintendent in which they had confronted him about claims he was having an affair with the female colleague.

Dennis Reeves, 45, shot himself in his truck at Kirbyville High School, north-east of Houston, last week

Dennis Reeves, 45, shot himself in his truck at Kirbyville High School, north-east of Houston, last week

In a statement to police, Superintendent Tommy Wallis said he and Assistant Superintendent Georgia Sayers had met with the female employee on May 23 when she claimed to have had an affair with Reeves, KDFM[2] reports.

‘She stated the relationship began as a friendship and it turned into a romantic affair,’ Wallis told police. ‘She stated Mr Reeves told her that if their relationship was uncovered he would kill himself.’

They immediately called a meeting with Reeves at the high school that afternoon to confront the allegations.

Reeves repeatedly denied having an affair with the woman.

Wallis said he told Reeves that he could resign without any investigation, but if he did not resign and it was revealed he had lied about the affair he would be fired.

‘He immediately stated he was resigning in lieu of the investigation,’ Wallis told police. ‘When signing the resignation, he was (visibly) shaken. While signing his name, his hands were shaking.’

Wallis and Sayers said they then escorted him out of the building.

According to the police statements, as Reeves walked off, he told Sayers: ‘I am not good’. Sayers responded: ‘I know Dennis.’

The district officials said they became uncomfortable when they noticed the principal’s truck still in the parking lot some time after he had left the meeting.

Wallis said he then called authorities to ask them to check on Reeves.

Kirbyville Police Chief Paul Brister said he found Reeves dead in his truck with a gunshot wound to his head.

The statements to police provide the first insight into the circumstances surrounding Reeves’ shock death last week.

Reeves was married to his wife Tammy (above) and they had two sons - one of whom had just graduated from high school

Reeves was married to his wife Tammy (above) and they had two sons – one of whom had just graduated from high school

Reeves had come out of a meeting with the district's superintendent and assistant superintendent when he killed himself in the parking lot of the high school

Reeves had come out of a meeting with the district’s superintendent and assistant superintendent when he killed himself in the parking lot of the high school

Reeves was married to his wife Tammy and they had two sons – one of whom had just graduated from high school.

The district officials had initially told media last week they had met with Reeves for a ‘basic meeting’ to discuss a number of things before he told them he was quitting.

‘We had several things to discuss. We called the meeting to visit with him about a couple of things – summer school, staffing patterns, several things to discuss,’ Wallis told KDFM[3] last week.

When asked if something in the meeting could have provoked Reeves to commit suicide, Wallis said: ‘I don’t have any idea what Mr Reeves was thinking. I can’t get into anybody’s head.’

Authorities found Reeves in the truck with the .380-caliber semi automatic pistol he used to kill himself.

The engine of his truck was still running and the transmission was in reverse but Reeves’ foot was on the brake.

The superintendent and assistant superintendent were the only ones left at the school when Reeves was found dead.

His brother-in-law, Trey Ainsworth, told the New York Post[4] last week that the family were at a loss as to why the married father-of-two would take his own life.

Ainsworth said the family were unaware of any legal troubles Reeves may have been facing or whether he was suffering from medical conditions like depression.

‘There’s nothing that indicated that he would do this.

We don’t know of anything,’ he said.

‘It’s kind of a shock to everyone. Everybody loved Dennis. He was a great guy.

It seemed like in recent years he was like citizen of the year in Kirbyville. The kids loved him, and his teachers loved him, too.’

The engine of his truck (above) was still running when he was found. Police said the transmission was in reverse but Reeves' foot was on the brake

The engine of his truck (above) was still running when he was found. Police said the transmission was in reverse but Reeves’ foot was on the brake

Tributes flowed in on social media from devastated students and colleagues following news of Reeves’ death.

‘Dennis Reeves was more than a principal. He was the kids supporter, voice, cheerleader, backbone if needed and disciplinarian if necessary!

He did all of it out of love,’ one parent wrote.

‘Mr Reeves showed up when he didn’t have too, he fought for his students when no one else would… My heart hurts for everyone’s lives that he touched as well as my daughter! He was her principal and was wonderful!

I am so hurt by his lost!’

One of his students wrote: ‘Breaks my heart. My principal for three years, he put up with a lot from me but through it all he believed in me. I remember a conversation between us when he broke down in tears and encouraged me.

Dennis Reeves was a great man.

You just never know what people are going through.’

If anyone is seeking help please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1 800 273 8255 or visiting the website[5].

References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ KDFM (kfdm.com)
  3. ^ KDFM (kfdm.com)
  4. ^ New York Post (nypost.com)
  5. ^ website (suicidepreventionlifeline.org)



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