The Kirbyville High School principal who killed himself in the school’s parking last week had just resigned after district officials confronted him about having an affair with his secretary.
Dennis Reeves was found dead from what appeared to be a single gunshot wound in his truck in the parking lot of Kirbyville High School on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, by Kirbyville Police Chief Paul Brister and another Kirbyville Police officer according to a Kirbyville Police news release on the incident.
Chief Brister was called at home at about 5 p.m. the same day by Kirbyville Mayor Frank George who asked that he call Kirbyville CISD superintendent Dr. Tommy Wallis about a situation at the high school according to the release.
Dr. Walllis had previously called school board president Chad George, who is the mayor’s son, to inform him of the situation according to the release.
When Chief Brister called, he was told by Dr. Wallis that Reeves had been sitting in his truck in the parking lot of the high school for “approximately one hour” after leaving a meeting in which he had resigned from his job as principal according to the release.
Dr. Wallis also informed Brister that he knew Reeves was a concealed handgun carrier and that he was concerned and would like officers to come check on Reeves the release said.
Chief Brister and Kirbyville Police Sergeant Josh Hancock arrived at the campus shortly after and discovered Reeves in his truck with a gunshot wound to his head according to the release.
When medics arrived, they ran a cardiac strip on Reeves which showed no activity and Justice of the Peace Judge Mike Smith was called to the scene and pronounced Reeves dead according to the release.
Kirbyville CISD superintendent Dr. Tommy Wallis and assistant superintendent Georgia Sayers gave statements to Police on Friday, May 26, 2017, according to the release.
Dr. Wallis told police that he and Sayers had met with a female employee who reported having an affair with Reeves when she worked for him as his secretary.
She also said that Reeves had told her that if the affair was ever discovered he would kill himself and attempt to make it look accidental so that his family could collect on his insurance according to the release.
While the woman typed up her statement on Sayers’ computer Dr. Wallis and Sayers went to see Reeves at the high school they told police.
Dr. Wallis and Sayers spoke to Reeves in his office at the high school at about 4 p.m. and he denied having an affair with the woman when Wallis asked him about it according to Wallis’ and Sayers’ statements to police.
Wallis told police that he informed Reeves he would be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the alleged affair and asked for his school keys and phone.
Reeves was told by Dr. Wallis that if the investigation showed he did have an affair and had lied about it that he would be terminated according to the release.
Dr. Wallis then gave Reeves opportunity to resign without a formal investigation which Reeves agreed to and immediately wrote a resignation letter in his office the release said.
Dr. Wallis told police that Reeves’ was visibly shaken and that his hands were shaking when he signed the resignation letter.
Dr. Wallis told police that he and Sayers escorted Reeves out of the building and that he got into his pickup truck at about 4:15 p.m. according to the release.
Reeves returned and knocked on the school door about five minutes later to return a bag containing tools that belonged to the school Wallis and Sayers told police.
As Reeves walked back to his truck he quietly told Sayers twice, “I’m not good,” to which Sayers replied, “I know, Dennis,” according to the release.
When the district’s maintenance director arrived to change the locks on Reeves’ office at about 4:30 p.m. he noticed that Reeves was still sitting in his truck in the parking lot which made Dr. Wallis, Sayers and him “uncomfortable” the release said.
Wallis told police that knowing Reeves had threatened previously to kill himself if the affair was discovered he was worried that Reeves may have been waiting to confront himself and Sayers.
At this point he contacted Chad George, the school board president, who had police contact Wallis the release said.
Chief Paul Brister said the police department is waiting on gunshot residue and DNA results from a crime lab before they officially confirm Dustin Reeve’s death as a suicide.
“Like I said, I’m 99.5 percent sure it’s a suicide so until we receive the results we are not going to make a 100 percent determination,” said Brister.
Brister said the results could take a few weeks to get back to the police department. He said the district has fully cooperated with the police departments investigation. He added, he is not surprised by the media spotlight on the investigation.
“I’ve been doing this for 35 years, it's a big investigation and it's my first encounter with this, it’s a very sad situation,” said Brister.
Brister would not confirm the name of the secretary involved in the affair with Reeves. 12news reached out to the Kirbyville CISD school district about the identity of secretary but they did not return our calls.
On Tuesday morning, May 30, 2017, Kirbyville High School assistant principal Charles Simmons resigned according to a staff member at the school.
Simmons resigned in an email saying that he was resigning "due to his integrity" Dr. Wallis told 12News Tuesday.
Wallis would not go into more detail saying of Simmons, "I wish him the best and hope he finds what he is looking for."
Both the principal and assistant principal job listings have been posted as being open Wallis said.
Wallis also told 12News that rumors about his family not being invited to the funeral service are not true and that while he was not able to attend the funeral his son was there to represent the Wallis family at Reeves' funeral.
12news also sent out a message to Simmons and stopped by his home but we did not hear back from him.