Philly Building Collapse Inspector Commits Suicide

The inspector of the Philly building collapse site has committed suicide. The inspector was found by his wife in a pickup truck with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. Ronald Wagenhoffer, the 52 year old Department of Licenses and Inspections employee sent his wife a farewell text message, prior to his body’s discovery at 9 PM. The incident took place less than a mile from Wagenhoffer’s home.

Philadelphia deputy mayor Everett Gillison stated that the city is in deep mourning following the death of the collapsed building’s inspector.

The last inspection performed on the Philly building collapse site occurred on May 14th, before disaster struck last week and six lives were ended. The inspection was performed after a Philly citizen expressed worries of the building’s safety. The site had been granted a demolition permit on February 1st. Wagenhoffer’s complete role in the inspection of the collapse site is unknown. Deputy Mayor Gillsion maintained that Wagenhoffer had done nothing wrong.

To date, a crane operator has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, after being found to be under the influence of a controlled substance. Despite this, he still maintains his innocence in relation to the incident. The site owners who hired him are also to be the subject of investigation, and a grand jury is being assembled to look into the incident. Officials have already made alteration to city inspections codes following the collapse. It is unclear if the building collapse inspector would have been investigated.

Police presence was placed at Wagenhoffer’s home, in order to shield his family from media scrutiny at a sensitive time. All Department of Licenses and Inspections employees were offered counseling following the building collapse. Prior to his suicide, Wagenhoffer thrust himself into his work, displaying no outward suicidal tendencies. No responsibility for the collapse is being placed on Wagenhoffer.

The head contractor of the Philly building collapse site issued his condolences to Wagenhoffer’s family.

[Image Via CNN]