Tributes have been paid to the airport worker who killed himself after stealing an empty passenger plane from Seattle Airport and crashing it on a nearby island. Richard Russell has been described as ‘kind and gentle’ by family and friends after authorities said he was suicidal when he hijacked the 76-seater turboprop Bombardier Q400, belonging to Alaska Airlines’ sister carrier Horizon Air at around 8pm local time on Friday. He failed to respond to air traffic controllers as he performed mid-air stunts shortly before the crash.
He was named yesterday and his family later released a statement expressing their grief and shock at his death. Family spokesman Mike Matthews said Russell, 29 – nicknamed Beebo – was ‘a faithful husband, a loving son and a good friend’. Mother orca finally lets go of dead calf it carried around for 17 days ‘Beebo was a warm compassionate man.
It is impossible to encompass who he was in a press release,’ Mr Matthews said. ‘A childhood friend remarked that Beebo was loved by everyone because he was kind and gentle to each person he met. ‘This is a complete shock to us. We are devastated by these events and Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together, without him we would be hopeless. ‘As the voice recordings show, Beebo’s intent was not to harm anyone. He was right in saying that there are so many people who have loved him.’