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Helicopter Hijacking Ends in Shooting Death

Helicopter Hijacking Ends in Shooting Death
Joe Cortez

Suspect attempted to steal an active helicopter at gunpoint prior to police intervention.

An Oregon man was shot dead by local police after he attempted to hijack a working helicopter at gunpoint from a Portland-area airport. Multiple news outlets report the fatality occurred at Portland-Hillsboro Airport (HIO), operated by the Port of Portland and 16 miles northwest of the city.

According to a CNN report, the suspect jumped a fence at HIO before approaching the helicopter owned by Hillsboro Aero Academy. The aircraft was in operation by an academy pilot and his girlfriend. Hillsboro Police tell CNN the suspect attempted to take control of the helicopter at gunpoint, firing a bullet into the air during the hijacking.

Immediately afterwards, a standoff occurred with other academy employees, with three staff members pointing weapons at the suspect. Hillsboro Police arrived soon afterwards on a report of an active shooter and ordering the individual out of the aircraft. A brief shootout occurred between the individual and police, ending in the death of the hijacker. The police department confirmed that an officer fired the fatal shot.

Portland Fox affiliate KPTV identified the hijacker as 25-year-old Holden Gorka. Investigators are still looking for a motive for the attempted hijacking; police believe there is no connection between Gorka and the flight academy, while an autopsy revealed no apparent history of mental health concerns or substance abuse. It is possible that Gorka was a transient, as police said he had no known address.

The investigation into the attempted hijacking is ongoing. Toxicology reports from Gorka could take up to 90 days to be returned, allowing investigators to determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (2)


  1. sundrop

    July 6, 2017 at 7:02 am

    This happened on Wednesday right, so yesterday?

    You want me to believe that an autopsy was already performed?

  2. arcticflier

    July 7, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Do you think this is all staged?
    A Conspiracy of some sort?
    Do keep us posted on your future discoveries.

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