“I'm really torn between letting the public know and being respectful of his family,” Tirey said.
Kilgore died after a single-car collision in the Townley community Monday. Walker County Coroner J.C. Poe said a car Kilgore was driving left the roadway on Coal Valley Road and struck several trees around 9 a.m. Monday.
After receiving a preliminary autopsy report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, Tirey said he could confirm Kilgore’s death was consistent with injuries sustained from a car accident and a self-inflicted wound.
Neither Tirey nor Poe would confirm or deny that the self-inflicted wound was caused by a gunshot.
“We’re just trying to be considerate of the family,” Poe said.
Representatives with the state department of forensics directed questions about the autopsy report to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Tirey, Kilgore’s death is under investigation by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the Alabama Department of Public Safety’s Traffic Homicide Division.
The Eagle’s efforts to reach investigators with the department of public safety and the ABI were unsuccessful Wednesday.
Kilgore retired from the sheriff’s office on Jan. 30 after a 36-year law enforcement career.
“A big portion of us at the Sheriff's office are grieving, and I am so saddened by the loss of Paul. He’s my friend and has been for many years,” Tirey said.
Tirey said he decided to release the information after his office and other agencies were bombarded with calls from residents perpetuating far-fetched speculations.
The Walker County NET was de-commissioned on Jan. 23, and Tirey would not comment as to whether Kilgore’s death was related to the NET’s closing.
Citing U.S. Department of Justice policy, Paul Daymond, public affairs specialist with the Birmingham field office of the FBI, said he could not confirm or deny an investigation into Kilgore’s death or the NET team.
Jasper Police Chief Connie Rowe said during Tuesday’s Jasper City Council meeting that her department will oversee what is expected to be a large police turnout for Kilgore’s funeral services and procession on Friday.
“We have law enforcement officials, particularly sheriff’s departments, coming from around the state. We’re going to coordinate those efforts on behalf of Sheriff John Mark Tirey,” Rowe said.
Kilgore’s visitation services will be from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Kilgore-Green Funeral Home. His funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Friday at Kilgore-Green Chapel. Burial will follow at Boldo Cemetery. Bill Martin and Joey Vick will officiate.
The processional will take place directly after the funeral services on Friday. It will go from Kilgore Green to the cemetery, hitting Highway 118 at it’s intersection with Airport Road and traveling east until turning on to Highway 69 North.
Rowe said that in order to organize the many police cars involved in the processional, Jasper police officers will block off a section of both Alabama Avenue North and Alabama Avenue South from Wright Street to the entrance of Pine Crest subdivision. During that time, mourners must enter the funeral home parking lot from Wright Street, Rowe said.