While going through security at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Wednesday, a loaded .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun was found in the carry-on bag of Hall of Fame center Bill Russell. Russell was arrested, the gun was confiscated, and the Boston Celtics' legend was released.
Russell issued a statement on Saturday in which he took responsibility for the incident, apologized for his mistake, and commended the TSA agents for the professionalism and the thorough way they handled the situation. From Boston.com:
Hall of Fame Celtics center Bill Russell issued a statement Saturday accepting responsibility for the Wednesday incident in which he was arrested at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after Transportation Security Administration officials found a loaded gun in his luggage.
“Before boarding my flight from Seattle to Boston, I had accidentally left a legal firearm in my bag. I apologize and truly regret the mistake,” he said. “I was issued a citation by the TSA, whose agents couldn't have been more thorough and professional when dealing with this. I really appreciate their efforts to keep air travel safe.”
He is a resident of the Seattle area. He'll be honored on November 1 with a statue of his likeness in Boston's City Hall Plaza.