The family of suicide plane hijacker Richard Russell have been left ‘stunned and heartbroken’ by his actions.
The airport ground worker – who learned how to fly a plane through video game simulators – stole a commuter plane from a Seattle airport and flew it on a joyride before crashing on a small island.
His family said in a statement: “This is a complete shock to us.
“We are devastated by these events, and Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together right now. Without him, we would be hopeless.”
Russell – whose nickname was ‘Beebo’ – was well liked by his colleagues and had passed all security measures before undertaking the bizarre stunt that went horribly wrong.
Before crashing he told the controller: “I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this.”
“I would like to apologize to each and every one one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess — never really knew it until now.”
But his family believes that he didn’t intend to hurt anyone else during his terrifying stunt.
“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,” the family said in their statement.
Airport officials are still investigating the case.