A Texas man flew his small plane into an Austin federal office building on February 18 in an apparent suicide attack on offices of the Internal Revenue Service located inside.
Two people were killed and two hospitalized after Joseph Stack, 53, flew his Piper Cherokee PA-28 into the seven-story office building. The office contains an IRS department which houses nearly 200 employees, according to officials.
Officials say they discovered a Web site that was created by Stack which contained hateful messages about the government and the IRS.
Friends of Stack claimed they never viewed him as a hateful person, describing him as carefree and friendly.
“He was a regular, easygoing Joe,” Billy Eli, who formerly played in a band with Stack, told CNN.
However, the apparent suicide message left by Stack depicted him as an extremely angry man with hateful views towards the IRS.
“He hid that very well,” Eli later told CNN. “Obviously he was in some serious distress and had some real despair. I never saw that.”
Another former band mate, Ric Furley, expressed similar views on Stack.
“I never saw him in a bad mood or speaking negatively about anything or anyone,” Furly told CNN’s “American Morning.”
Stack’s wife offered the victims of the crash her sincerest sympathy, according to CNN.com.
“Words cannot adequately express the sorrow of the sympathy I feel for everyone affected by this unimaginable tragedy,” Sheryl Stack said in a statement read by friend of the family, Rayford Walker.
The bodies of the two killed were discovered and identified on February 19. In addition to the two people that were hospitalized, 11 others were treated for minor injuries, officials told CNN.
One of the more seriously injured patients was released after being treated, while the other was transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Tex. for serious injuries, although he remained in a stable condition. Officials say he suffered burns over 20 to 25 percent of his body.
Witnesses said the crash shook nearby buildings and created huge clouds of smoke around 10 a.m. The fire took 90 minutes to control.