Daughter says pilot in Texas IRS crash was a hero
AUSTIN, Texas – The daughter of a man who crashed his small plane into a building housing offices of the Internal Revenue Service called her father a hero for his anti-government views but said his actions, which killed an IRS employee, were “inappropriate.”
Joe Stack’s adult daughter, Samantha Bell, spoke to ABC’s “Good Morning America” from her home in Norway. Asked during a phone interview broadcast Monday if she considered her father a hero, she said: “Yes. Because now maybe people will listen.”
Authorities say Stack, 53, targeted the IRS office building in Austin on Thursday, killing employee Vernon Hunter and himself, after posting a ranting manifesto against the agency and the government. He apparently set fire to his home before flying his plane into the office building.
Hunter’s son, Ken Hunter, said he’s alarmed by comments that the pilot was a hero.
“How can you call someone a hero who after he burns down his house, he gets into his plane … and flies it into a building to kill people?” Hunter told ABC.” ”My dad Vernon did two tours of duty in Vietnam. My dad’s a hero.”
Bell said she offered her deepest condolences to Hunter’s family. She said her father’s last actions were wrong.
“But if nobody comes out and speaks up on behalf of injustice, then nothing will ever be accomplished,” she told ABC. “But I do not agree with his last action with what he did. But I do agree about the government,”