Central Valley

Newman man shot to death

NEWMAN — Authorities discovered the body of man with an apparent gunshot wound early Wednesday when firefighters responded to a fire at his home about a mile south of town.

The man, in his mid-50s, was found dead with a gunshot wound to his upper body, said Stanislaus County sheriff's Lt. Charles Grom.

Sheriff's officials did not release the man's name or age Wednesday evening, because it was unclear whether the man's family had been properly notified.

The fire occurred about 4 a.m. at the rural home near Hallowell and Draper roads just southwest of Newman. Firefighters responded to the fire, and sheriff's deputies arrived to assist.

Authorities found the man's body in an outbuilding next to the main house on the property, Grom said. They found a rifle near the man's body.

Grom said suicide is suspected, but investigators are looking into all possible causes.

No one else was on the large property Wednesday morning. Some family members, however, live in another house on the property, Grom said.

Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at mhatfield@modbee.com or 578-2339.