The iron(III) complex [Fe(tpena)]2+ (tpena = N,N,N′-tris(2-pyridylmethyl)ethylendiamine-N′-acetate)undergoes irreversible O2-dependent N-demethylcarboxylation to afford [FeII(SBPy3)(MeCN)]2+ (SBPy3 = N,N-bis(2-pyridylmethyl)amine-N-ethyl-2-pyridine-2-aldimine), when irradiated with near-UV light. The loss of a mass equivalent to the glycyl group in a process involving consecutive C–C and C–N cleavages is documented by the measurement of the sequential production of CO2 and formaldehyde, respectively. Time-resolved UV–vis absorption, Mössbauer, EPR, and Raman spectroscopy have allowed the spectroscopic characterization of two iron-based intermediates along the pathway. The first of these, proposed to be a low-spin iron(II)-radical ligand complex, reacts with O2 in the rate-determining step to produce a putative alkylperoxide complex. DFT calculations suggest that this evolves into an Fe(IV)-oxo species, which can abstract a hydrogen atom from a cis methylene group of the ligand to give the second spectroscopically identified intermediate, a high-spin iron(III)-hydroxideof the product oxidized ligand, [FeIII(OH)(SBPy3)]2+. Reduction and exchange of the cohydroxo/water ligand produces the crystallographically characterized products [FeII(SBPy3)(X)]2+/3+, X = MeCN, [Zn(tpena)]+.