Air marshals kill man claiming to have bomb in Miami

Federal air marshals shot and killed Rigoberto Alpizar, 44, a U.S. citizen, today at Miami International Airport, after he claimed to have a bomb in his bag and ran off the aircraft with the bag.

This story came in early this afternoon, but I’ve been holding it, waiting for more details to emerge.

The plane, Flight 924, had arrived in Miami from Medellin, Colombia, just after noon, and the shooting occurred shortly after 2 p.m. as the plane was about to take off for Orlando with the man and 119 other passengers and crew, American spokesman Tim Wagner said. Alpizar had arrived in Miami earlier in the day from Ecuador, authorities said. . . .

According to a witness, the man frantically ran down the aisle of the Boeing 757, flailing his arms, while his wife tried to explain that he was mentally ill and had not taken his medication.

The passenger indicated there was a bomb in his bag and was confronted by air marshals but ran off the aircraft, Doyle said. The marshals went after him and ordered him to get down on the ground, but he did not comply and was shot when he apparently reached into the bag, Doyle said. . . .

No bomb was found, said James E. Bauer, agent in charge of the Federal Air Marshals field office in Miami. He said there was no reason to believe there was any connection to terrorists.

The concourse where the shooting took place was shut down for a half-hour, but the rest of the airport continued operating, officials said.

Mary Gardner, a passenger aboard the Orlando-bound flight, told WTVJ-TV in Miami that the man ran down the aisle from the rear of the plane. “He was frantic, his arms flailing in the air,” she said. She said a woman followed, shouting, “My husband! My husband!”

Gardner said she heard the woman say her husband was bipolar — a mental illness also known as manic-depression — and had not had his medication. — Associated Press

He had entered the U.S. just fine, cleared customs, and was changing to this plane. The incident occurred just before the plane was to pull away from the gate.

(Via The Counterterrorism Blog)

Air marshals deployed nationwide to determine if anything was happening in other airports, but found it was an isolated incident.

Now a few people are saying stupid things like “Air Marshal Nazis Kill Unarmed Citizen,” which isn’t quite reporting the story accurately.

The team “pursued the subject into the jetway and ordered the subject to get down on the ground,” Knocke said. “The passenger appeared to reach into the carry-on bag, at which point in time, consistent with their FAMS [Federal Air Marshal Service] training, the air marshals took appropriate action.” He said shots were fired as the air marshals “attempted to subdue the subject.” — Washington Post

That’s right, the idiot made a threatening move after air marshals had ordered him to stop and get on the ground. What do you think is going to happen?

The moral of today’s story is, if you’re bipolar, take your medication.

One thought on “Air marshals kill man claiming to have bomb in Miami

  • April 27, 2007 at 11:39 am

    They did their job and I would have done the same thing.

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