Police say no terrorism involved after chase of Seattle man in stolen plane
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Police in a Seattle-area county in Washington said there was no terrorism link after a man stole a plane with no passengers and flew it into the Puget Sound on Friday night following a chase by military jets. 

The identity of the man, described by authorities as "suicidal," was not released Saturday morning. The 29-year-old suspect allegedly stole a Horizon Air turboprop, a 76-seat plane, from Sea-Tac International Airport, according to The Associated Press.

Later reports from airline officials confirmed that the man, who was a resident of Pierce County, Washington, died in the crash.


The plane crashed into a small island in the Puget Sound some time after 8 p.m. local time, according to authorities. Witnesses reported flames on the sparely-populated island reachable only by boat, according to the AP.

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said the man “did something foolish and may well have paid with his life," according to the AP.

“It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie,” a resident who saw the crash told The Seattle Times. “The smoke lingered. You could still hear the F-15s, which were flying low.”

Military jets had been scrambled to chase the plane, according to the Times.

Alaska Air Group, which owns Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, said the man was a ground service agent for Horizon Air, which would have allowed him access to the planes on the tarmac at the airport.

“Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard, along with all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees,” the airline said in a video statement posted to Twitter early Saturday.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) thanked the Air National Guard for scrambling jets to confront the hijacked aircraft Friday night, and lamented that “there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding tonight’s tragic incident.”

The White House said Saturday that President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE, currently staying at his Bedminster, New Jersey resort, had been briefed on the situation.

"The President has been briefed on the incident involving a stolen plane from Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle and is monitoring the situation as information becomes available," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

"Federal authorities are assisting with the ongoing investigation which is being led by local authorities. We commend the interagency response effort for their swift action and protection of public safety," she added.

-- Updated 2:45 p.m.