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Sheriff in American Sniper Case Found Dead

'It's a very sad situation'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2016 3:17 AM CST
Updated Dec 21, 2016 6:03 AM CST

(Newser) – Sad news from Erath County, Texas: Sheriff Tommy Bryant, the lead investigator in the 2013 murders of American Sniper author Chris Kyle and another man, was found dead at his home early Tuesday. The Dallas Morning News reports that authorities believe Bryant died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to the Stephenville Empire-Tribune, state authorities were investigating Bryant for allegedly cheating on his continuing education training by having a deputy take a course for him. Documents obtained by the paper state that Bryant was one of 190 Texas law enforcement personnel reprimanded earlier this year for failing to complete the 40 hours of training intended to keep them up to date with changes in the law.

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Bryant, sheriff since 1997, was re-elected this year with around 70% of the vote. The Texas Rangers division of the state's Department of Public Safety say the death is being investigated. Friends and colleagues say Bryant was a good sheriff and he'll be missed. "It's a very sad situation, very tragic when you lose a colleague and a friend like that," Erath County Judge Tab Thompson, who worked alongside Bryant for many years, tells WFAA. "Our thoughts and prayers from the county go out to Sheriff Bryant's family, his wife and son. Very sad time for them and for us as well." (Earlier this year, the Navy revised Kyle's medal count downward.)

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