A JP Morgan executive died after a 500 ft. fall from the company’s London headquarters during rush hour early Tuesday morning. Horrified witnesses said that his body was left for four hours on the 9th floor roof where his body landed. The death is being treated as a suicide.
The 39-year-old American, Gabriel Magee, was Vice President of the firm’s technology team and had worked for them for 10 years. His body was found at around 8am local time but, according to witnesses, was not removed until midday. Magee had moved to the United Kingdom in 2007.
A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service confirmed that they received a call just after 8am, reporting that a person had fallen from a height. “We sent one ambulance crew, a duty officer, our hazardous area response team and London Air Ambulance to the scene.” they added. Magee was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was covered with a white sheet. Onlookers reported a large amount of blood around the body, which was eventually removed hours later.
A spokesman for JP Morgan – the world’s richest bank – said “We are deeply saddened to have lost a member of the J.P. Morgan family at 25 Bank Street today. Our thoughts and sympathy are with his family and his friends.” The bank’s 33-story London office is in the financial district, close to the iconic Canary Warf tower and the headquarters of other large financial institutions, such as Barclays, Citi Bank and HSBC. Numerous people who worked nearby commented on the incident on Twitter; expressing sadness and also shock that the man’s body lay undisturbed for such a long time. Magee was described as being well liked and “in good standing” with his superiors. The motive for his apparent suicide is unknown. A colleague of Mr. Magee’s, Joshua Konstadt who works for JP Morgan in New York, described the incident as a tragic loss, saying that Magee was “a very good friend. A very smart guy, with a great sense of humour.”
The technology executive, who had obtained a degree from the University of New Mexico, was not not married but had apparently started a relationship with a woman in London, which appeared to be going well, according to Konstadt. According to a report in British newspaper The Independent, Konstadt said “There was absolutely nothing that would have been and [sic] kind of red flag or indication that would have made him turn to this.“
It has been reported that the man jumped from the building’s top floor, although JP Morgan has declined to confirm this. It is still not clear as to why the executive’s body was not removed for hours. The London Ambulance Service is run as a National Health Service (NHS) trust and employs some 4,500 people. The service runs about 70 ambulances.
By Graham J Noble