A small plane crashed into a huge office building in Austin, Texas Thursday morning. The plane was apparently flown by a U.S. pilot who first torched his house and posted a long rant against the IRS on the internet.
“I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand.”
“I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand,” software engineer Joe Stack wrote on his website in what appears to be his final screed, dated Wednesday.
Thursday morning Joe Stack crashed a single engine Piper Cherokee PA-28 into the seven story black glass Echelon Building in Austin, Texas, that housed a large IRS office.
A total of three people is reported dead.
Stack’s house in North Austin was set ablaze around 9 a.m.
A neighbor rescued his wife, musician Sheryl Stack, and their 12-year-old daughter, according to KXAN-TV.
Stack, who owned a small plane, was missing.
Witnesses at an adjacent mall told KXAN-TV that the plane crash was clearly intentional.
The small single engine plane came in low, nearly hitting power lines, and was roaring at full throttle on impact, the witnesses said.
“It was flying low and fast and I did a double take,” said Stuart Newberg, who was at a nearby Lexus dealership shortly before 10 a.m. when he said he saw a plane flying low and fast overhead.
“I thought it was a play remote control plane. Then I saw the smoke,” he said.
Online Suicide Note
In a chilling and disturbing suicide note, posted on the internet yesterday, the pilot Joe Stack writes:
“If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?” The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.”
“Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”
Updates and related:
2. The U.S. law enforcement officials said authorities were trying to determine if the pilot intentionally targeted the IRS. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.
5. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the crash was “apparently a criminal act” and that in such a case the FBI would be the lead investigating agency rather than the National Transportation Safety Administration.
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