A SkyWest pilot wanted in the killing of a Colorado woman late last week stole a Canadair CRJ200 regional jet off the tarmac in St. George, Utah, where SkyWest is headquartered, before shooting and killing himself in the airplane. According to a statement from the airline, the incident happened after the airport closed on Monday night. SkyWest identified the man as Brian Hedglin of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
According to the Deseret News, Hedglin arrived on a motorcycle and is believed to have used a carpet and gloves to scale a barbed-wire gate to get into the terminal area. An airport security guard found the motorcycle at around 12:50 a.m. on Tuesday morning, its engine still warm.
After scaling the gate, Hedglin made his way into the cockpit of a CRJ200 and started its engines. The airplane ran into the terminal, a fence and some parked vehicles before coming to a halt in an airport parking lot. Authorities believe Hedglin shot himself before the airplane came to rest with its engines still running. At this point it is not known if Hedglin intended to fly the airplane or merely to kill himself on the ground once in it.
According to the Deseret News, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage was done to the terminal, and a major section of the airplane’s wing was ripped off.
The police are investigating the incident but so far have not found a suicide note or other evidence that might shed more light on Hedglin's motives.