Fire Chief Shot Himself, Medical Examiner Rules

CLEVELAND, Texas — The last time anyone saw Cleveland s veteran fire chief, Steve Wheeler, he was smiling as he left for lunch.

I had doughnuts and a cup of coffee with him earlier on that same day as I always did, recalled Jerry Oliver, the first assistant chief. We agitated each other, picking and laughing as usual. Everything was fine. He was not despondent.

That s why Oliver and other city workers said they refuse to believe Wheeler went to lunch on Monday with the intent of taking his own life. He was found dead later that afternoon.

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