A disabled veteran jumped from a parking garage at the Philadelphia Veterans’ Affairs medical center Thursday morning, killing himself. The veteran was seeking psychiatric treatment at the facility.
The Daily Beast reported:
Spokesperson Fern Billet would not confirm or deny a suicide, but said a death that occurred there this morning was still under investigation. Authorities on scene would only confirm that the subject was a 5’7" white male. The incident is being investigated by the VA police department because it occurred on federal property. According to a witness, the man fell from the parking deck roof and struck a utility building with such force that it knocked the decedent’s shoes from his feet before his body hit the ground.
The witness was able to identify the victim based on the backpack he was wearing. VA police and federal agents descended on the parking garage after the incident.
Philadelphia VA facilities have been the subject of controversy in recent months. An executive at the Philadelphia VA regional benefits office was found in September to have exploited a relocation program to receive monetary perks.
Moreover, a psychiatrist at the Philadelphia VA medical center told a gun-rights support to "off" himself on Facebook in July, a statement that the VA doctor said he later regretted.
An independent assessment commissioned by the VA and released in September found that the department’s network of hospitals is in need of "system-wide reworking." The culture of VA medical centers across the country is "characterized by risk aversion and lack of trust," the review found.