Household of Airline Worker Who Stole Aircraft in 'Full Shock': He Was a 'Compassionate Man'

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The Horizon Air worker who stole an airplane from the Seattle-Tacoma Worldwide Airport on Friday earlier than finally crashing it has been recognized as Richard Russell, in keeping with the Related Press and a number of different shops. Authorities haven’t but formally confirmed Russell’s id.

Russell’s household reacted to the surprising incident in a ready assertion learn by a household buddy, Mike Matthews, at a press convention over the weekend, NBC Information reported, calling him by a nickname, “Beebo.”

“On behalf of the household, we’re shocked and heartbroken,” Matthews learn. “It could appear troublesome for these watching at residence to imagine, however Beebo was a heat, compassionate man. It’s unimaginable to embody who he was in a press launch. He was a trustworthy husband, a loving son, and a great buddy. A childhood buddy remarked that Beebo was beloved by everybody as a result of he was form and mild to every individual he met.”

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RELATED: Airline Worker Allegedly Hijacks Aircraft Closing Down Seattle Airport Earlier than Doing Stunts & Crashing

The assertion continued, “It is a full shock to us. We’re devastated by these occasions, and Jesus is really the one one holding this household collectively proper now. With out him, we might be hopeless. Because the voice recordings present, Beebo’s intent was to not hurt anybody. He was proper in saying that there are such a lot of individuals who have beloved him.”

Russell allegedly stole the Horizon Air Q400, which had no passengers on board, at round eight p.m. native time on Friday. He later crashed on Ketron Island, igniting a hearth. He’s believed to be deceased. The airport was briefly shut down because of the incident.

“There was an incident late yesterday involving the unauthorized operation of certainly one of our plane that took off from Sea-Tac round eight p.m.,” Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden stated in an announcement early Saturday. “We’re nonetheless gathering details, however at this level we perceive there was just one individual aboard, an worker of Horizon Air, who was working the plane. I need to share how extremely unhappy all of us at Alaska are about this incident. Our coronary heart is heavy for the household and buddies of the individual concerned.”

“We’re working to search out out every thing we probably can about what occurred, working with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Nationwide Transportation Security Board. We’re giving these investigators our full help and cooperation,” Tilden continued. “With these investigations underway, our focus will stay on supporting the household of the person concerned, the broader Alaska and Horizon household, and our communities and friends.”

On Saturday, the Pierce County Sheriff stated the hijacking was not a “terrorist incident.” “Male is confirmed a suicidal male. Acted alone he’s 29-year-old Pierce county residence ,” the division tweeted.

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The Seattle FBI tweeted on Saturday that regardless of “the extreme curiosity within the particular person answerable for Friday night time’s unauthorized flight of a Horizon plane” offering any additional particulars could be “untimely” because the “investigation continues to be in its early levels.”

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The air drama was broadcast dwell over air site visitors management monitoring websites. Throughout the radio trade, an air site visitors management personnel by the identify of Captain Invoice tried to steer Russell away from flying over the airport to be able to keep away from a collision that may threat the lives of a number of folks.

Talking to the air site visitors management personnel, Russell stated, “I’ve acquired lots of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to listen to that I did this. I want to apologize to every certainly one of them. Only a damaged man, acquired a number of screws unfastened I assume. By no means actually knew it, till now.”

The aircraft was seen by various witnesses doing stunts earlier than crashing. Individuals who witnessed the incident shared movies on Twitter.

Tilden stated that the ground-services worker was with the corporate for 4 years, and was working a shift when the incident occurred. “It was his job to be round airplanes,” Tilden stated throughout a Saturday press convention.

Russell’s former coworker, Rick Christenson, described him to The Seattle Occasions as a “quiet man.”

“It appeared like he was effectively favored by the opposite employees,” Christenson recalled. “I really feel actually unhealthy for Richard and for his household. I hope they’ll make it by means of this.”

“All people’s shocked… that one thing like this could occur,” Christenson advised the outlet. “How might it? All people’s been by means of background checks.”

In keeping with the Seattle Occasions, Russell was married, and had beforehand owned an Oregon bakery along with his spouse. The outlet reported that he was additionally a Christian youth chief.

Russell posted a YouTube video about his job and his travels in December. “Hello, I’m Beebo Russell, and I’m a floor service agent. Which means I carry lots of baggage. Like, lots of baggage. So many baggage,” he narrated the clip. “I normally need to work exterior on this , nevertheless it permits me to do some fairly cool issues, too.”

When you or somebody you already know is contemplating suicide, please contact the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), textual content “assist” to the Disaster Textual content Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.



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