No answers yet in fatal Auburn shooting

Death was self-inflicted or accident, victim’s cousin says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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An early March shooting that sparked neighbor concerns and calls to the Journal is still under investigation, although those who knew the victim have ideas about what may have happened. On March 5 Jeff Beeler was shot and killed in his Dorer Drive apartment. Detective Adam Cline, with the Auburn Police Department, said Friday the death is still under investigation and the department hasn’t ruled it as a homicide or suicide. “There are some follow-up interviews … still people we are talking to, and then we are just waiting for some of the stuff that we sent off for testing to come back, too,” Cline said. Cline said there are currently no persons of interest in the case. “We know who all the involved parties are, and (when) we get all the evidence back and everything is tested and the investigation is done, then we’ll make a ruling,” Cline said. At the time of the event, neighbors reported seeing a woman in handcuffs. Capt. John Ruffcorn, of the Auburn Police Department, said after the shooting that one person was put in handcuffs and taken to the squad car, which is routine for these types of incidents as officers figure out what happened. The victim’s landlord, Craig Jacobson, said he believes the death was a suicide, but did not witness the shooting, nor does he have evidence to support that outcome. “I did visit with him for about five days in a row prior to his death,” Jacobson said. “I expressed to my wife on our way out of town for that weekend that I was worried about Jeff and felt helpless to help him. I had not seen a man with that much despair, bordering on hopelessness, in their eyes in years.” Jacobson said Beeler was having a hard time finding work. “He was unemployed for probably over a year,” Jacobson said. “And that was one of the things that was getting to him.” Jason Thomure, Beeler’s cousin, said he has two ideas about what could have happened to a man he considered to be his best friend. “He was never killed by anybody,” Thomure said. “I called the police department just about two weeks ago and I asked if they had any update from the lab or anything, because it could have been an accident. We just are not sure.” Thomure said the family is praying the death wasn’t self-inflicted. “He either committed suicide or … it was an accident,” he said. “My cousin wasn’t very savvy with guns, so it’s very possible that he might have not intentionally done this.” Thomure said there was no past history of violence between Beeler and his girlfriend, who lived with him in the apartment. Beeler’s struggle to find a job was definitely taking a toll on him, Thomure said, but no one in the family expected the death. “We are going to miss him a lot,” he said. “He was my closest and dearest friend. We have known each other since birth really. It came as a real shock, a real surprise.” Reach Bridget Jones at