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Police: Building Collapse Site Inspector Commits Suicide

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Jim Melwert Jim Melwert
Jim is a "morning drive" reporter for KYW Newsradio 1060, bringing...
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By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The City of Philadelphia inspector who last visited the site of last week’s building collapse in Center City has committed suicide.

The 52-year-old, identified by city officials as Ronald Wagenhoffer, was discovered by his wife about 9 p.m. Wednesday night along the 100 block of Shawmont Avenue, an isolated wooded section of Roxborough.

Police say Wagenhoffer parked his pickup truck and sent his wife a text message, and then shot himself in the chest.

Wagenhoffer was identified as the lead Licenses and Inspections inspector of the site at 22nd and Market Streets, where a building collapsed last week.

Wagenhoffer was the last inspector to visit the site before a four-story wall crushed the Salvation Army thrift shop, killing six people and injuring 13 others.

He was pronounced dead the scene.

During a news conference Thursday morning, Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said Wagenhoffer “did nothing wrong.”

Wagenhoffer was an inspector with the city for 16 years and was a described as an “outstanding employee” and of the top code officials.

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