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Man fatally shot attempting to hijack Oregon helicopter was from Olympia, police say

Holden Gorka.
Holden Gorka. AP

An Olympia man who police say attempted to hijack a helicopter in Hillsboro, Oregon, was identified Wednesday as Holden Austin Gorka.

Gorka, 25, was fatally shot by police on Monday at the Hillsboro Airport after he allegedly held a pilot and passenger at gunpoint.

Police say the pilot and passenger were in the helicopter getting ready for takeoff when Gorka, who was wearing a mask over his face, jumped a fence, and fired at least one shot.

The pilot and passenger were not injured.

Gorka then boarded the helicopter, but was stopped by police before taking off.

He was shot by police trying to flee the scene on foot, and died just before noon.

His motive for attempting to steal the helicopter is under investigation, but the Hillsboro Police Department said in a statement that Gorka had no known mental health or drug abuse issues. Toxicology results won’t be ready for two to three months.

Gorka did not have a connection to the airport’s flight school, police say, and he did not have a pilot’s license, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

Gorka also did not have a known address, though he was registered to vote in Thurston County, and was listed as an Olympia resident.

His aunt, Cynthia Hudnall, told The Oregonian that Gorka was raised in Olympia, and recently married, though she has not had contact with her nephew since last year.

Gorka seemed “perfectly fine” the last time she spoke to him, Hudnall told The Oregonian.

Records show Gorka received his General Education Development (GED) diploma from South Puget Sound Community College in 2011, and a LinkedIn profile under his name suggests he had been working as a commercial truck driver in Jacksonville, Florida since March.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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