(GoRealNewsNow.com) – In a tragic case, a small-town Republican mayor and Baptist pastor once praised by then-President Donald Trump has committed suicide in front of police officers after a conservative news website leaked photos showing him in women’s clothes and with makeup.
F.L. “Bubba” Copeland, known in his community, ended his own life on Friday following the exposure of his private persona on a conservative news platform, DNyuz reports, quoting The Daily Beast.
Copeland held the mayoral office of Smiths Station, a town of nearly 7,000 people near Phoenix City, Alabama, and was a pastor at First Baptist Church in Phenix City.
He died by suicide as he shot himself in the head during a welfare check conducted by local law enforcement.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the incident occurred when police performed the check.
Copeland was the subject of an article on the conservative website 1819 News, which was previously linked to the Alabama Policy Institute and is run by an ex-contributor of Breitbart News.
The piece, authored by Craig Monger, presented an expose under the headline:
“The secret life of Smiths Station Mayor and Baptist pastor F.L. ‘Bubba’ Copeland as a ‘transgender curvy girl’: ‘It’s a hobby I do to relieve stress.’”
The article divulged Copeland’s activity on social media platforms Reddit and Instagram, where he used an assumed name, discussing attire, adult content, and transgender issues.
According to the report, 1819 News published these findings despite Copeland’s request for privacy, and there was no evidence of his public stance against LGBTQ matters that would suggest duplicity.
Copeland became the mayor of Smiths Station in 2016. He rose to national prominence in 2019 after President Trump’s visit post-tornado destruction, which he also featured in his campaign.
The revelations about his alter ego led his church to condemn any “unbiblical behavior,” while Copeland himself assured the report did not reflect his true identity.
“This will not waver my devotion to my family, serving my city, serving my church,” Copeland asserted on Wednesday, as reported by AL.com.
However, the situation escalated to a fatal climax, Sheriff Jay Jones recounted.
“I am so angry right now and heartbroken. I witnessed a good man be publicly ridiculed and crucified over the last few days… to the point that he just took his own life today,” reacted Phoenix City School Superintendent Larry DiChiara.
“I just want to ask you people who thought it humorous to publicly ridicule him, ‘Are you happy now?’ What crime did he commit?” the official asked.