Former senator John Danforth has released a statement from his assistant, who said she was on the phone with Kathy Schweich when Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich apparently took his own life a week ago.
Danforth said the release of the statement came in response to a media request.
His assistant, Martha Fitz, said she was asked by Schweich’s chief of staff Trish Vincent to call the Schweichs out of concern for his emotional state. Fitz is a family friend of the Schweichs.
She said her first call went unanswered, and when Kathy Schweich returned the call Tom got on the phone and spoke, “solely about his outrage concerning the rumors that were being spread about his religion and how he should respond to those rumors.”
“I told him I thought it was best to let others stand up for him. He then threatened to kill himself and handed the phone back to Kathy,” Fitz’s statement said. “Seconds later I heard Kathy say, ‘He shot himself!’
The statement said Kathy Schweich then called 911 on another line while staying on the phone with Fitz until paramedics arrived.
Fitz wrote she has told this information to the Clayton Police Department.
Danforth wrote, “I want to add that Ms. Fitz, who as the note says was close to both Tom and Kathy, is heartbroken by this tragedy and will have nothing further to add. I hope the media will respect that request.”
Danforth on Tuesday delivered the eulogy at Schweich’s memorial service and criticized an alleged whispering campaign saying Schweich was Jewish, which Schweich allegedly believed was intended to hurt him politically among evangelical Christian Republicans, and an ad that made fun of Schweich’s appearance.