Daughter Of "Suicide Pilot" Retracts Dad-Hero Statement

By: Courtesy: KWTX.Com
By: Courtesy: KWTX.Com

Samantha Bell, the daughter of the software engineer who flew his single-engine plane into the side of the seven-story Echelon building in Austin, Texas said Monday her father is a hero.

She made that statement to "Good Morning America."

ABC News is now reporting Bell retracted her statement, calling the show later and saying her father was "not a hero."

ABC News says Bell then stated the only hero was the victim, who was a veteran.


AUSTIN (February 22, 2010)—Samantha Bell, the daughter of the software engineer who flew his single-engine plane into the side of the seven-story Echelon building in Austin, said Monday her father is a hero.

Joe Stack, 53, died along with an Internal Revenue Service employee in the fiery crash Thursday in north Austin that evidently targeted the IRS, which had offices in the building.

Bell told ABC's "Good Morning America" the plane attack was "inappropriate," but she praised his anti-government and anti-tax views.

Asked if she considered her father a hero, she said "yes."

She spoke in a telephone interview from Norway, where she lives.

Bell said her father was not a hero for taking a life, but "because now maybe people will listen."

IRS employee Vernon Hunter died in the attack and 13 other people were inured, two seriously.

Hunter's son, Ken Hunter, says he's alarmed by comments that characterize the pilot as a hero.

Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Transportation says a road by the Austin building will remain closed until further notice.

TxDOT spokesman John Hurt says the stretch of U.S. 183 frontage road will not reopen until the seven-story building is determined to be structurally sound.


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