Building Inspector Suicide: Philadelphia City Officials Shocked To Find Colleague Dead In Truck Following Fatal Building Collapse [REPORT]

By Philip Ross on June 13, 2013 2:21 PM EDT

building inspector suicide
Rescue workers search through rubble following a building collapse in Philadelphia June 5, 2013. Six people perished in the tragic event. (Photo: Reuters)

A building inspector's suicide, following the deadly collapse of a building in downtown Philadelphia on June 5, shocked city officials who said the inspector showed no signs of distress prior to committing suicide in his truck Wednesday night. ABC News reports that city official Ronald Wagenhoffer, who had worked for the city for 16 years, died Wednesday night of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

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Wagenhoffer was the last person to check on the building on May 14, and he found no violations. News of the building inspector suicide was met with sorrow from colleagues of the city official.

The building collapse in Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 5, killed six people. IScience Times reported that the building, located just on the edge of downtown Philly and that once housed a first-floor sandwich shop, was slated to be torn down to make room for an apartment house. The collapsed structure toppled onto an adjacent thrift store, and debris from the building punctured surrounding structures, including a Salvation Army.

The announcement of the building inspector suicide came as a surprise to other city officials whom Wagenhoffer worked with, who said he never expressed any emotional difficulties to anyone.

"He came into work everyday, was continuing doing inspections, people were reaching out to him," Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said Thursday. "He did his job and did it the way he was supposed to be doing it."

"I want everybody to understand, that there is a lot of hurt and pain associated with the tragedy that occurred on June 5," Carlton Williams, Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections, said during Thursday's building inspector suicide announcement. "We take that pain home with us at night, and we wake up to it each and every day."

Gillison added: "This man did nothing wrong. The department did what it was supposed to do."

Read more from iScience Times:

Building Collapse In Philly: 12 Injured In Center City Accident, Rescuers Still Looking For Trapped Victims

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