Tom Overby, who proposed a 1,000-foot tall Tornado Tower near Kansas City that received a promise of $72 million of state sales-tax accelerated revenue bonds that was later rescinded, was found dead last week of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Police said the shooting appeared to be accidental, but Wyandotte County coroner Alan Hancock has not made a ruling.

Overby, 61, had hoped to finance the project’s estimated $244 million cost with the STAR bonds issued by the Kansas City suburb of Edwardsville along with $60 million of private equity and up to $112 million of taxable industrial revenue bonds by the city.

Kansas Secretary of Commerce David Kerr in September 2007 withdrew the state’s conditional approval of the plan to issue $71.9 million of STAR bonds for the controversial tornado monument.

Overby’s wife Diane said she will continue to work on the project, which no longer includes public financing.

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