STEELE - A Pemiscot County man wanted on parole violation apparently killed himself rather than surrender to authorities.
Pemiscot County Sheriff Terry Greenwall said at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday a deputy observed the door open at a house on Highway F near Holland. When the deputy stopped to investigate, he was met at the front door by Lester D. Nichols, 25, of Steele.
The deputy recognized Nichols as wanted by the Department of Corrections and attempted to talk with him. Nichols ran into the house and slammed the door, according to the sheriff.
After calling for assistance, the deputy was joined at the scene by another deputy and they attempted to use a key to enter the house as they called out to Nichols to surrender. "After all attempts to get Nichols to surrender failed, deputies kicked open the front door and entered the house," Greenwall stated in a news release from his department. "As they entered the house, they heard a pop."
Deputies located Nichols in a bedroom closet with a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Pemiscot County Coroner Jim Brimhall.
Also deputies found a working methamphetamine lab in the kitchen. After the house was secured, the Bootheel Drug Task Force was called to remove the lab.
The sheriff's department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control are investigating the shooting. Results of an autopsy, performed Sunday in Farmington, were not available.