(NEWSnet) — A former Boeing manager who raised safety questions about the aircraft maker has been found dead outside a South Carolina hotel, according to local authorities.

The body of John Barnett, 62, was found Saturday in a car outside a Holiday Inn, suffering from what the Charleston County Coroner’s Office said appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Louisiana resident was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police in Charleston said detectives were waiting for a formal determination of the cause of death and “any additional findings that might shed further light on the circumstances surrounding” the end of Barnett’s life. Police noted “the global attention this case has garnered.”

Barnett was cross-examined by Boeing's lawyers and his own attorney days before he died.

The court planned for Barnett to answer more questions on Saturday, but he did not appear as planned.

Barnett was a longtime Boeing employee and worked as a quality-control manager before he retired in 2017. 

He claimed that tests on emergency oxygen systems due to be fitted to the 787 showed a failure rate of 25%, meaning that one in four could fail to deploy in a real-life emergency.

Barneyt said he had alerted managers to his concerns but no action had been taken.

Boeing denied his assertions. However, A 2017 review by the U.S. regulator the Federal Aviation Administration did uphold some of Barnett's concerns. 

Editorial Note: This story includes a discussion of suicide. The national suicide and crisis lifeline is available by calling or texting 988. There is also an online chat at 988lifeline.org.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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