A Brooklyn pharmacy owner who committed suicide went to the grave with damning information about a multi-million dollar steroid ring linked to his business, a law enforcement source said Tuesday.
John Rossi, 56, was found dead in the second-floor office at Lowen's Pharmacy in Bay Ridge about 7 p.m. Monday night. He left behind a note reading "Please forgive me" after pumping a fatal bullet into his head, the medical examiner said today.
Rossi was found dead at the desk of his son-in-law, near a bottle of Jack Daniel's and an open bottle of pills. A .380 automatic Baretta was found in his hand when investigators arrived.
Although two bullets were fired in the office, the fatal shot to the head led to a suicide finding, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner. Rossiâ€™s first shot, to the chest, missed his vital organs â€” and the wounded man then fired a second time.
No one doubts that Rossi could have been helpful to authorities probing the snowballing steroid scandal involving city cops.
"Rossi had information that could take down a lot of people," the law enforcement source said. "With what he knew, he could have flipped a few people and not faced a lot of prison time."
Rossi, a partial owner of the pharmacy, had repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the nationwide probe into the illegal sale and use of steroids.
When police raided Lowen's in October, they found $8.2 million worth of performance-enhancing drugs.
At least 27 cops showed up on Lowen's client lists, sources said. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said six officers have failed drug tests for steroids. Five cops were eventually suspended for failing the tests, police said yesterday.
Rossi's death will not impact the Brooklyn district attorney's investigation of the steroid case, another law enforcement source said.
A Brooklyn grand jury is expected to hear evidence in the case in the coming months.
Maryann Wenz, 65, a life-long friend of Rossi's, said the night before he was found dead he had been in a neighborhood hospital with his daughter for the birth of his grandson.