Man Standing Next to His Own Tombstone Shot Dead

Victim pointed a loaded gun at deputy

By Greg Wilson
|  Friday, Dec 9, 2011  |  Updated 4:16 PM EDT
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He died right next to his grave.

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A Nevada man was shot dead by a police deputy just a few away from his own burial plot.

David Pendleton, 77, who authorities believe was distraught over the death of his wife, pointed a loaded gun at the deputy who was responding to an anonymous tip. Gardnerville Police Sgt. Jim Halsey said police believe Pendleton was the caller who reported a dead body outside a white truck at Gardnerville Cemetery.

"We don't know ultimately what his intent was, whether it was to shoot himself or be shot by the deputy," Halsey told The Associated Press. Pendleton's shotgun was "fully loaded and ready to be fired,"he added.

Pendleton's wife was buried in the plot and his own headstone, engraved with his name and date of birth, was just feet from Pendleton when he was shot.

Pendleton had threatened people, including police officers, in the past, the sheriff's office said.Sheriff's Deputy Richard Koontz, who shot Pendleton,was justified, according to authorities.

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