A disabled veteran seeking care at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs hospital committed suicide by jumping off a parking deck Thursday morning.
The vet walked out of the waiting room to the deck, The Daily Beast reports. On the way down from the deck, the vet hit a utility building first, which knocked his shoes off his feet.
While a spokesman declined to confirm whether cause of death is suicide, there is confirmation of a death. The subject is reportedly a 5’7” white male. The reason why the subject jumped is unknown.
The Department of Veterans Affairs police department is investigating the incident as it took place on federal property. As of Thursday evening, the area was still cordoned off.
Police and other agents quickly identified the subject because of a distinct backpack he was wearing.
Philadelphia is home to the most dysfunctional regional office in the country. It has a widespread culture of fear and retaliation.
In early November, Philadelphia regional office director Diana Rubens pleaded the Fifth Amendment before a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing in response to questions about her abuse of a relocation program.
In late July, Gregg Gorton, a staff psychiatrist at the Philadelphia VA, posted on a Facebook comment thread telling a veteran, “[O]ff yourself, please.”
Last year when investigators arrived on the scene to conduct a report, a manager at the regional office tweeted out threatening messages to whistleblowers.
“Your accomplice is a piece of **** too. Say it to my face. Oh wait – that would require guts which you don’t have coward,” Lina Giampa wrote.
The Phoenix VA, another infamous facility known as the center of the waitlist scandal, saw a suicide earlier this year in May.