Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

From today’s NPR News:

Police in Charleston, S.C., are investigating the death of John Barnett, a former Boeing quality control manager who became a whistleblower when he went public with his concerns about serious safety issues in the company’s commercial airplanes.

Barnett’s body was found in a vehicle in a Holiday Inn parking lot in Charleston on Saturday, police said. One day earlier, he testified in a deposition related to the string of problems he says he identified at Boeing’s plant where he once helped inspect the 787 Dreamliner aircraft before delivery to customers.

Barnett was in the middle of giving deposition testimony in his whistleblower retaliation case against Boeing when he died, his lawyers, Robert Turkewitz and Brian Knowles, told NPR.

“He was in very good spirits and really looking forward to putting this phase of his life behind him and moving on,” the South Carolina-based attorneys said in a joint statement. “We didn’t see any indication he would take his own life. No one can believe it.”

Police said officers were sent to the hotel to conduct a welfare check after people were unable to contact Barnett, who had traveled to Charleston to testify in his lawsuit against Boeing.

“Upon their arrival, officers discovered a male inside a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound to the head,” police said in a statement sent to NPR. “He was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

The office of Charleston County Coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neal said that Barnett, who had been living in his home state of Louisiana after retiring from Boeing, died “from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Charleston police said detectives are actively investigating the case and are awaiting a formal cause of death as they try to determine the circumstances surrounding Barnett’s death.

Read the complete story here.

By Editor