AUSTIN, Texas (CBS/AP) Some would call Joseph Andrew Stack, the software engineer who crashed his small plane into an IRS office building in Austin, a domestic terrorist. But there are fans on Facebook and Twitter who are now claiming he's a "true American hero."
(AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)
Photo: Joseph Stack.
Before flying his single engine Piper PA-28 into the hulking black-glass office building Thursday morning, the 53-year-old apparently posted a rambling screed on a Web site in which he railed against "big brother," the Catholic Church, the "unthinkable atrocities" committed by big business and the government bailouts that followed. He took particular aim at the IRS, telling them to "take my pound of flesh and sleep well."
In the note, signed "Joe Stack (1956-2010)" and dated Thursday, he said he slowly came to the conclusion that "violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer."
And some people on Facebook couldn't agree more.
"Finally an American man took a stand against our tyrannical government that no longer follows the Constitution," wrote Emily Walters of Louisville, Ky.
Photo: Echelon Buidling in Austin, Texas Feb. 18, 2010.
According to The New York Daily News, Walters was one of the many people on the social networking circuit who founded Joe Stack fan pages to honor the kamikaze pilot.
People were also sounding off via Twitter.
"Joe Stack, you are a true American Hero and we need more of you to make a stand," tweeted Greg Lenihan of San Diego, according to the paper.
Stack took off from an airport in Georgetown, about 30 miles from Austin, and flew low over the Austin skyline before plowing into the side of the Echelon 1 office building just before 10 a.m. Flames shot from the building, windows exploded and terrified workers rushed to get out.
At least one IRS worker was killed, according to authorities. Thirteen people were injured, two of them critically. Stack also perished.
"His sacrifice was for all of us," wrote Texan Tyler Britten on Facebook, according to the paper.
Facebook has since deleted the "Joe Stack" fan page, but others seem sure to follow.
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