Plane attack victim's son speaks

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by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on February 19, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 19 at 11:26 PM

The mind-boggling scenes from the aftermath of a suicide attack on a north Austin building on Thursday were quickly broadcast across the nation and eventually the globe.

However the haunting images caught one man's attention in San Antonio and he couldn't turn away.

"I was watching T.V. and they kept saying it was the F.B.I. building.  I've been in that building before so I looked up and I was like oh that's the I.R.S. building!", said Ken Hunter, the son of Vernon Hunter an I.R.S. employee who worked inside of the Echelon Building in north Austin, the same building attacked by 53-year old Joseph Stack who federal investigators believe intentionally flew his plane into  the building killing one and injuring a dozen others.

"They kept saying one person was unaccounted for and she called me about one o'clock yesterday saying my dad was missing so I pretty much knew that my dad had lost his life in that building.", said Ken Hunter.   

Vernon Hunter, 67, was inside the building an on Friday law enforcement officials confirmed his death.

The father of six and grandfather was born and raised in South Carolina and joined the Army at age eighteen.

Vernon Hunter spent two tours of duty in Vietnam in the Army.

A number of people living in his neighborhood told KVUE that Hunter was the ideal neighbor and father.

As far as Joseph Stack, the 53-year old man accused of intentionally crashing his small-engine plane into the Eschelon building because he was upset with the I.R.S., Ken Hunter says "Part of being an American, whether you agree with what's going on in the government or not is you pay your taxes. This isn't someone who couldn't afford to pay his taxes. He had an airplane and an almost $300,000 dollar house, and we're talking about what, three or four thousand dollars that he didn't want to pay? That's ridiculous.", said Hunter.

Vernon Hunter's job at the I.R.S. was to help arrange payment plans for people who couldn't afford to pay their taxes.

Ken Hunter says his father would have gladly helped Stack make the needed arrangements.

Vernon Hunter is expected to have a military funeral however details have not been released at this time.

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