Skip to comments.Suicide Is Suspected in Death at World Trade Center Site
Posted on 11/06/2004 9:18:41 PM PST by the_gospel_of_thomas
November 7, 2004 Suicide Is Suspected in Death at World Trade Center Site By MICHAEL BRICK
young man who told his family he was distraught over the result of the presidential election was found dead yesterday, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, inside the gated pit where the World Trade Center once stood, the authorities said.
The man was identified as Andrew J. Veal, 25, of Athens, Ga. A woman who answered the telephone at the home of Mr. Veal's parents, Jerry and Sharon Veal of Temple, Ga., identified herself as a close friend and said the family would not discuss the death.
Mr. Veal's neighbors in Athens did not return repeated telephone calls, and people in an apartment complex where he once lived said they did not recognize his name.
It was not clear how Mr. Veal had entered the site, which is guarded by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police. The gates are more than 15 feet tall, made of long metal slats with tarpaulins along the bottom half that obscure views of the interior.
Shortly before 8 a.m., a worker at the Millenium Hilton Hotel on Church Street, along the eastern border of the site, looked out a window on an upper floor of the hotel and saw a person who appeared to be sleeping inside the site, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority, which owns the 16-acre trade center property.
Hotel security workers called the Port Authority police, Mr. Coleman added.
A man named Pedro, who identified himself as the head of hotel security but refused to give his last name, adamantly denied this account.
"All the calls come down to us," he said. "Nothing came from this hotel."
Mr. Coleman said that the body was found about 20 yards inside the gates, in what is called a subterranean "bathtub" on the Church Street side near where the 1 and 9 subway trains pass underground.
Mr. Veal, who did not appear to have any ties to the victims of the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center, was pronounced dead from a single gunshot wound, Mr. Coleman said.
The police confirmed that the victim had used a shotgun. No suicide note was found, they said.
Gus Danese, president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, said that the police contacted Mrs. Veal, who told them her son was upset about the result of the presidential election and had driven to New York.
Mr. Veal was identified last night as an employee of the University of Georgia's Survey Research Center, where the center's director, James Bason, said Mr. Veal had worked for about six years.
"He was a great guy," said Dr. Bason. "He was a great worker, and he did a great job for us. And he got along well with everyone. Again, we are all at a loss at to why something like this would happen."
Mr. Veal, he said, was known as Andy and managed the call center of the Survey Research Center. There, a staff of eight full-time employees and 50 part-time interviewers conducts public opinion surveys for professors and state agencies.
Although Dr. Bason said Mr. Veal was friendly and cheerful, he said, "I did not now a lot about his personal life," and added, "I did not know his political leanings at all."
A paper credited to an Andrew Veal at the University of Georgia that focuses on behavior patterns in churches is posted on the Internet.
Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner's office, said an autopsy will be performed today. Workers at the restaurants lining Liberty Street, the southern border of the gated area, said they saw a frenzy of police activity.
"The gate was open, and there were police and fireman crowded all around it," said Andrew Girsang, who works at a food market, Coast on Liberty Street, across from a gate to the site. "It's tight security in there."
In Athens, a former co-worker of Mr. Veal's, Julie Chance, said she had never talked with him about politics. "He was one of those guys you love to be around," she said. "Every day he made my workday much brighter. If I was having a bad day, he was there to lift me up."
Ms. Chance no longer works at the survey center and had not talked with Mr. Veal recently, so she could not say if he had been distraught. She said she had heard that he had gone to New York to visit a friend, but she did not know the friend.
A young man who answered the door at Mr. Veal's house and did not identify himself said: "I can't talk for him. I'm sorry. I just got the news today, and I'm in no frame of mind to talk."
William K. Rashbaum and Anne Berryman, from Athens, Ga., contributed reporting for this article.
It's Bush's fault?
Goodness. Isn't against NYC laws to possess a shotgun? The guy broke some of the liberal laws he was distraut over losing. Hypocrite!
I think there was just a little bit more going on here.
It's about pre-Civil War churches in Athens, GA, apparently.
Did you notice they called his family immediately to get their opinion of why he killed himself, and then repeatedly called his neighbors?
I wish the press would leave families alone when they lose someone...so untoughtful, so crass.
The first of many poster children for the left?
Gravity....not just a good idea. It's the LAW!
You're not under the impression that he jumped from a building that is no longer there, are you?
Well, he wasn't anti-gun.
But seriously, I feel sorry for this guy. Not if Kerry had won, not if Hilary wins in 2008, or even if Ted Kennedy was president would I kill myself, although I might take up drinking.
Politics is important, but it isn't everything. Put your faith and hope in something less flimsy than politics and the foibles of mankind, son. The president of the United States isn't God Almighty.
If Edwards and Kerry won, they could bring him back from the dead. Bush's stem cell ban claims another victim.
I was lurking at the DU site and they have just about built a shrine to this guy over there. One poster did blame it on Bush. Another says "the first of many more deaths in the next four years".
On another thread they are trashing us for the Pat Tillman thread and saying "his death had no meaning" and "he died for nothing".
There are some twisted and sick individuals over there.
witness the first martyr of the anti-Bush war
With a name like "Veal", they may want to question PITA.
It's a deep pit, a fall would be fatal.
If he was indeed distraught by Bush's victory, he must've been a die-hard (die-easy in this case) Liberal for whom the foibles of mankind would drive him to do this. Stupid.
If his worst problem is that Bush was re-elected, may God have mercy on him for his selfishness.
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