McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

August 7, 2013

Pittsburg County Commissioner Ronnie Young found dead

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Pittsburg County’s District 3 Commissioner Ronnie Young, 59, was found dead at his McAlester home Wednesday morning, officials say.

His death is under investigation by the McAlester Police Department. Lt. Kevin Hearod said it appears Young died from a gunshot wound.

Hearod said McAlester police received a call at about 8 a.m. from one of Young’s coworkers when he didn’t show up for work. Young was found by police at his home with a gunshot wound.

Hearod said there was no forced entry of the home and not signs of foul play. The case remains under investigation by MPD and the Oklahoma Department of Investigation, Hearod said.

Young served as District 3 commissioner for more than two years and was recently appointed as chairman of the county commission, a three-member board representing its three districts to govern the county.

The news of his death came as a shock to several community members including District 1 Commissioner Gene Rogers.

“We were great friends he was a wonderful co-worker,” Rogers said Wednesday afternoon.

District 2 Commissioner Kevin Smith said he was also shocked and saddened by the news of Young’s death.

“Ronnie was a super good guy that always had the public in mind,” Smith said.

“He did his an outstanding job for his district.”

Young is survived by one son and one grandson, Smith said.

Hearod said an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death will be conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.