(AP) – Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth has suggested that political bullying led Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich to fatally shoot himself.
Danforth delivered the eulogy Tuesday during a memorial service for Schweich that was attended by many of Missouri’s top elected officials and hundreds of others.
Schweich fatally shot himself last Thursday in what police say was an apparent suicide.
Danforth was a close friend, co-worker and political mentor to Schweich, who had planned to run for governor.
Danforth said that in the days before his death, Schweich was upset about a negative radio ad that mocked his appearance and was distraught by what Schweich perceived as an anti-Semitic whispering campaign against him. Schweich was Christian, but had some Jewish ancestry.
Danforth said: “Words do hurt. Words can kill.”