‘Those who wanted him gone know who they are’: Texas principal’s death officially ruled a suicide as school seeks replacement

The sudden death of a Texas high school principal in May has been officially ruled a suicide.

Dennis Reeves shot himself in the head on May 28 in the parking lot of Kirbyville High School just after handing in his resignation.  The suicide and the surrounding controversy sent shockwaves through the small southeast Texas community.

As Crime Online previously reported, school officials later revealed that Reeves gave his resignation, just before he killed himself, after the superintendent and district attendant confronted him with allegations about an affair with his former secretary.

That secretary has since come forward with a statement providing details of the alleged affair, which she said ended last year. She claims she went to the school district in May because the principal’s wife Tammy Reeves had been harassing and threatening her.

Kirbyville police had maintained from the start they believed the gunshot that killed Reeves was self-inflicted. And late last week Kirbyville Police Chief Paul Brister confirmed the official manner of death as a suicide, after tests found gunshot residue on Reeves’s right hand, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.

According to KFDM, on Monday, Kirbyville Consolidated Independent School District will determine Mr. Reeves’s successor from a list of principal candidates pre-selected by the school district.

Some members of the Kirbyville community have questioned the circumstances of Reeves’s resignation, accusing the superintendent of strong-arming Reeves into resigning so he could install someone else.

Kirbyville CISD athletic director Greg Neece gave a statement this weekend, obtained by KFDM, that seemed to address that concern:

“My co-worker and my friend, Mr. Dennis Reeves, deserved much better appreciation from those who wanted him gone as principal at Kirbyville High School for his loyal service and guidance to the kids, teachers, employees, and administration of KCISD. What a shame! One of the best principals I ever worked for in my 24 years in public education. I would have loved to have been a student under his direction as well. God bless the Reeves family. Those who wanted him gone know who they are and so do we.”

Last month, Tammy Reeves retained an attorney to look into the circumstances of her husband’s resignation and suicide. The attorney has requested to depose over a dozen people, including Kirbyville school district officials, Reeves’s former secretary, the mayor of Kirbyville, and the Kirbyville police chief.