Monday, April 15, 2024

Someone who used to expose secrets about Boeing was discovered dead, and it seems they took their own life with a gun

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A man who used to work a long time for Boeing and had serious worries about how they make things was found dead in Charleston, South Carolina, last weekend, says the Charleston County Coroner’s Office.

The coroner’s office shared that John Barnett, 62, passed away on March 9, and it seems like he harmed himself with a gun. The city’s police are checking the situation and waiting for more details about why Mr. Barnett died.

CNN got a statement from his lawyers, and they said, “John was talking about his concerns at work, and it was almost finished. He was happy and excited to move on from this part of his life. We didn’t think he would do this to himself. It’s shocking. We need to know more about what happened. The police in Charleston should look into this completely and tell everyone what they find out. Nothing should be left out.”

His family told NPR that the case was going to court in June, and Barnett was hoping it would make Boeing change the way they do things.

His lawyers, Robert Turkewitz and Brian Knowles, called Barnett “a brave, honest man who cared a lot about his family, friends, Boeing, his co-workers, and the people who fly on Boeing planes. We rarely meet someone so sincere.”

Police got a report that something was wrong at a Holiday Inn in Charleston before 10:20 am on Saturday. They found Barnett in a truck with a gun wound to his head. He was dead when they got there. The police report said there was a note-like paper next to him.

The police report said a guy named “Rob” called the hotel to check on his friend John Barnett. That’s how they found him in the truck.

Boeing said they are sad about Barnett’s death, and Charleston police said they know people are talking about it but want to stick to the facts and evidence in their investigation.

Barnett, who worked for Boeing for many years, found some metal pieces hanging over the wires that control the plane, according to a 2019 New York Times report that CNN mentioned. Barnett said those sharp pieces could cause big problems if they got into the wiring. He said as a quality manager at Boeing, he was the last person who could stop a mistake before it reached the public. Barnett told the Times, “I haven’t seen a plane out of Charleston yet that I’d put my name on saying it’s safe and airworthy.”

Boeing’s site leader and general manager of the 787 program, Brad Zaback, said the Times’ report was wrong and that the plant delivers high-quality planes.

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