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Forum staff reports, Published March 12 2014

Skuza investigation to be done within days; police lieutenant left note for family before killing himself

FARGO – The Fargo police lieutenant who killed himself early Tuesday morning left a note for his family before driving outside of city limits and shooting himself with a personal handgun.

The investigation into Lt. Jeff Skuza’s suicide is nearing completion and should be done within a couple of days, Sgt. Tara Morris with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Skuza, 47, shot himself in the head at Holy Cross Cemetery south of the Wal-Mart at 3757 55th Ave. S., which is just outside Fargo city limits.

Morris said Skuza left a note for his family at home. He used a personal vehicle to drive to the cemetery before shooting himself with his own handgun, not a department-issued weapon, she said. He was off-duty at the time and was in plain clothes, Morris said.

“All the investigation is really just proving the fact that we’re confident it was a suicide,” Morris said. “We’re still kind of at a loss. We don’t – and no one ever does in a situation like this – know why.”

Skuza served about 23 years on the Fargo police force. He is survived by his wife and two teenage children.

Visitation will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday at Saints Anne and Joachim Catholic Church in Fargo, with a prayer service at 8 p.m. Visitation will continue from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday followed by the funeral at 10:30 a.m. at the church.