A SkyWest Airlines employee broke into a plane at an airport in the US state of Utah on Tuesday, taxied it into a car park and then shot himself dead on board, police and officials said.
Brian Hedglin, a 40-year-old employee of SkyWest Airlines, jumped a security fence at St. George Municipal Airport early in the morning, using a rug and some gloves, said Marc Mortensen, a spokesman for the city of St. George.
He got inside a SkyWest aircraft, started it up and taxied though an airport fence into a parking lot, damaging some cars. He then shot himself dead, police said.
FBI agents are investigating along with the St. George city police and the Transportation Security Administration, an FBI spokeswoman said.
SkyWest said the man was on administrative leave from the airline.
“SkyWest Airlines has confirmed that a SkyWest employee was involved in a ground incident with an aircraft at St. George Municipal Airport,” it said in a statement. “The aircraft did sustain damage; the extent of the damage is currently being inspected.”
Officials said the airport was temporarily closed as a result of the incident. SkyWest said its flights were being diverted from St. George to Cedar City.
SkyWest operates Delta Connection and United Express flights to Salt Lake City and Los Angeles from the airport, which is the largest in southern Utah. St. George has a population of 73,000.
The airport, which is owned by the city, opened in 2011.