The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

September 3, 2011

Teen's death expected to be ruled suicide

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Newton County coroner said Friday that he will be ruling the death of former Neosho High School football player Will McDaniel a suicide by gunshot, barring any new evidence to the contrary.

McDaniel, 18, died Thursday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Neosho police. Officers responded to a report of a shot fired at a home in the 200 block of Hillcrest Drive shortly before noon and learned that McDaniel had been shot in the head with a high-powered hunting rifle.

Police said no foul play was suspected. Coroner Mark Bridges, who was out of town Thursday, said Friday that he anticipates ruling the death a suicide once he is able to speak with police and confirm what he had been told by his deputy coroner.

McDaniel was a 2011 graduate of Neosho High School who signed a letter of intent this past spring with Graceland University in Iowa for football and track.

Former classmates, coaches, friends and family held a moment of silence in his honor Thursday night at the high school football field in Neosho.

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