Inspector Commits Suicide After Passing Collapsed Building in Philadelphia That Killed Six

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By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
June 13, 2013|11:25 am

The building inspector, who signed off on the Philadelphia building that collapsed last week killing six people, is thought to have committed suicide when his body was found on Wednesday night.

Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison stated the inspector, 50-year-old Ronald Wagenhoffer, was found dead in a pickup truck Wednesday night. Wagenhoffer was a Department of Licenses and Inspections employee who had inspected the building on May 14, according to Philly.com

According to police, Wagenhoffer was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest inside his parked vehicle around 9:30 p.m. There was no suicide note recovered from the scene. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Wagenhoffer had sent a text message to his wife before taking his own life.

The building was being demolished when it collapsed onto a neighboring Salvation Army Thrift Store on June 5, killing two employees and four customers. A city prosecutor is convening a grand jury to look into the collapse to see if anyone was responsible.

City records indicate that a demolition permit listed contractor Griffin Campbell as overseeing the job. Campbell's lawyer has called him extremely saddened over the tragic loss of life but said that his client was not responsible for the deaths.

"Our heartfelt condolences go to the family of the inspector," attorney Kenneth Edelin said in a statement. "We also continue to pray for the families of those that were lost, and for the health and speedy recovery of those that were injured."

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Sean Benschop is the crane operator at the center of the investigation after toxicology tests showed Benschop tested positive for marijuana and prescription painkillers.

Benschop recnelty turned himself over to police after being charged with six counts of involuntary manslaughter, 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of risking a catastrophe.

 

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