April 06, 2016
A Philadelphia police officer at the center of an investigation into stolen weapons died Wednesday of causes that have yet to be revealed, according to officials.
Lieutenant Vincent Testa, a 20-year-veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, had been implicated in a 2012 investigation into the alleged theft of illegal weapons. As commanding officer of the Firearms Identification Unit, Testa was accused of inflating the number of illegal guns that had been processed after their confiscation as evidence.
Sources told NBC 10 that Testa's death was not a homicide, but no other details were provided.
The investigation into Testa's alleged misconduct began after two Philadelphia police officers filed a civil lawsuit accusing him of fabricating paperwork to create the impression that all confiscated weapons had been processed.
The officers further alleged that Testa shipped the unexamined weapons to a City Hall evidence room after he was told to whittle down a cache of unexamined guns from 1,500 to 500. In the lawsuit, Testa is accused of covering up for an officer who allegedly stole 51 guns.
Testa was still under investigation at the time of his death, according to police, and had seen his weapon confiscated by the Philadelphia Police Department in the past week.