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North Hudson suicide victim is identified

The elderly man who died yesterday from an apparent suicide outside the North Hudson Village Hall has been identified as Thomas Hines, 80, a retired U.S. Treasury agent who lived in the village with his wife of 58 years.

According to information from village Police Chief Mark Richert, Hines used a handgun to shoot himself around 12:15 p.m. near the south entrance to the Village Hall. That is the door closest to the police department. Richert speculated that Hines may have chosen the location believing that he would be found quickly and by professionals rather than by a member of his family or a civilian. Police say Hines did not leave a note.

Employees inside the Village Hall heard what they described as a "pop," but believed something had fallen off one of the walls in the police department or in the break room of the newly remodeled Village Hall, 400 Seventh St. N. They investigated but found nothing.

It was approximately six to nine minutes later that a Public Works employee ran into the building yelling for someone to call 911 because a man was shot and on the ground just outside the south door.

Richert said he was in downtown Hudson when he received the call over the radio and was on the scene within minutes.

Also on the scene were St. Croix County Sheriff's deputies who, with North Hudson Police, cordoned off the area around the Village Hall -- bounded by Seventh Street North on the west, St. Croix Street North on the south and Monroe Street North on the north. St. Croix EMS was called to the scene, but Hines was deceased. The county medical examiner was summoned shortly thereafter.

Hines had been seen outside of the Village Hall a little before noon walking up the sidewalk near the front entrance, but he did not enter the building or make any attempt to contact anyone inside the Village Hall. He made his way to the south sidewalk near the entrance closest to the police department, where he shot himself once.

Hines is survived by his wife, Irene.

O'Connell Family Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.