Answers in shooting death await autopsy

Authorities are awaiting the results of an autopsy and toxicology tests to help them determine exactly what happened in a shooting in Butte Falls Sunday that left one man dead.

Larry Dorian Wise, 66, of the 400 block of Pine Street, Butte Falls, died in his driveway after apparently shooting himself, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department and Butte Falls Marshal Chris Hanson were called to Wise's neighborhood at about 7:40 p.m. Sunday. Neighbors reported a disturbance with shots fired.

One neighbor told officers that he had heard a gunshot and gone out to investigate. Wise was outside his home with a rifle and told the neighbor that two people were in his house stealing his guns. Wise told the man that he had shot and wounded one of the intruders, investigators said in a news release prepared Monday.

The neighbor told officers that he got his gun and set up outside Wise's house to watch for any burglars. While watching and waiting, he heard another shot from Wise's location outside the home. He turned and saw Wise drop to the ground, investigators said.

Another neighbor reported seeing a muzzle flash from the rifle in Wise's hand, then seeing Wise collapse to the ground near his vehicle, the news release said.

Wise died at the scene. The marshal and deputies found no evidence of any intruders or theft at Wise's house.

Winters said an autopsy and toxicology tests will help investigators determine the cause of Wise's death and his erratic behavior. The investigation is ongoing.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail

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