Local media citing sources at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) air force base said one or more F-15 fighter planes contacted the rogue aircraft and it crashed soon afterwards.
"This is probably jail time for life, huh?" he later asks, according to a recording provided by the Seattle Times.
"Rich" said: "I've got a lot of people that care about me. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them". Although he never claimed he was trying to kill himself while conversing with air traffic controllers, some of his comments about never intending to land the plane and having a few "screws loose" indicate he may have had suicidal intentions and/or was mentally ill.
Video footage on social media showed a large plane flying above the Seattle area with a F-15 fighter jet following it.
The sheriff's department said "preliminary" information was that the plane's pilot was "a mechanic from unknown airlines" who "was doing stunts in air" or lacked flying skills.
Mike Mathews, a friend of Russell, said at a press conference the incident came as a "complete shock".
Mr Russell was an airline ground agent working his regular shift when he stole the empty Horizon Air turboprop plane and took off from Sea-Tac International Airport.
The Bombardier Q400 turboprop airplane is designed for shorter-distance flights and can seat 76 passengers, Alaska Air said on its website.
Law enforcement sources confirmed to both The Seattle Times and The New York Times that Russell, who handled baggage and towed aircraft for Horizon Air, was the pilot.
Shaman kept woman in cave for 15 years, raped her
The shaman faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of coercing a minor into intercourse and may face other charges, as well. Police say that in 2003, the 13-year-old girl was brought to him for treatment by her own family and stayed behind with him.
Alaska Airlines said no structures on the ground were damaged. Video showed flames amidst trees on the island, which is sparsely populated and only accessible by ferry.
Normal operations at Sea-Tac resumed around 9:30 Friday night.
The FBI is investigating the freakish incident in conjunction with the National Transportation Safety Board and local law enforcement.
Gary Howell, a Wasilla High track and field coach, said he remembered Russell as a amusing guy who also had a smile and a joke and was a great team player.
The FBI is looking into the 29-year-old's background and try to determine his motive, she said. "I played video games before so, you know, I know what I'm doing a little bit". It was a very small two prop plane commuter aircraft was stolen. "In terms of improvements that we might make as a company and as an industry to make this very safe industry even safer in the future, it's too early to say".
An investigation will also seek to determine how a ground service worker was able to access the plane's cockpit and steal it in the first place.
On Saturday morning, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told media that President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident and is now "monitoring the situation" in Seattle.
"We're working to find out everything we possibly can about what happened", he said.
Smoke and an orange glow seen on Ketron Island in Washington state.
'It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie, ' he told the newspaper.
We've got details on whether Selena Gomez would get in touch with Justin Bieber if things fall apart with fiancée Hailey Baldwin. Justin Bieber has revealed he was just having a "bad day", when he was pictured crying with Hailey Baldwin .
In addition, executive vice president and CFO Carrie Teffner will step down in the coming weeks for another role in the company. Last March, Crocs said it will close about 160 of its 558 retail stores by the end of 2018.
Organizer: The event was organized by Jason Kessler, who already had last year's rally on his resume. President Trump urges peace for all Americans one year after the deadly incidents in Charlottesville.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was not Chelsea's first choice to replace Thibaut Courtois , according to The Sunday Times. In the first line, we defended not like we wanted to defend. "I hope in this month to improve the team".
Earlier, England's top order again failed with openers Keaton Jennings (11) and Alastair Cook (21) falling in successive overs. Jos Buttler (24) got in and got out before he too fell lbw aiming across the line as Shami took a third wicket this innings.
A New Moon occurs on August 11 which will make the night skies ideal for meteor shower watching before and after the peak night. The Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, visible in the northern sky soon after sunset this time of year.
This will also serve as a discovery service that will promote games with a boutique feel according to the announcement. Some new titles are also available for individual purchase already, including Hollow Knight and Banner Saga 3 .
The visitors held the lead for seven minutes as Derby levelled with a goal that will give Bailey Peacock-Farrell nightmares. Jay Fulton scored the only goal as Swansea beat Preston North End to make it two wins from their opening two matches.
Turkey shaken by financial fears, Trump rattles it further
With new Iran sanctions coming up, more Turkish banks could face US probing if they are doing business with the Islamic republic. Turkey has accused Andrew Craig Brunson of spying and " committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member".
Trump attacks National Football League protesters
Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay! President Donald Trump criticized the players on Twitter . The NFL and NFLPA, however, are still discussing this rule and are trying to reach an agreement.
What To Expect From News Corp's Fiscal 2019
Digital revenues represented 30% of News and Information Services segment revenues in the quarter, compared to 26% a year ago. Furthermore, News Corp's expenses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 21 per cent to US$1.07 billion.
Ghana’s Jordan Ayew 'ready’ for Crystal Palace challenge
He was named their players' player of the season last campaign after scoring 11 times - including home and away to the Eagles. It is believed that Ayew is now in London completing his medical, after the 26-year-old has engineered a move out of Swansea.
Hurricane Hector weakens to category 3
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area later today. Swells generated by Hector will bring large and unsafe surf to portions of the main Hawaiian islands through tonight.