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Passenger Shot Dead by Air Marshals

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Officials: Passenger killed after claiming to have bomb

Wednesday, December 7, 2005; Posted: 4:27 p.m. EST (21:27 GMT)

 

 

 

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- A federal air marshal shot and killed a 44-year-old U.S. citizen on a boarding bridge at Miami International Airport after he said he had a bomb, several sources familiar with the incident told CNN.

 

Flight 924 was in Miami on a stopover during a flight from Medellin, Colombia, to Orlando, Florida, when the man said there was a bomb in his carry-on luggage[/], a Department of Homeland Security official said.

 

He was confronted by a team of federal air marshals, who pursued the man down the boarding bridge and ordered him to get on the ground, the official said.

 

When the man appeared to reach into his baggage, at least one shot was fired by the marshals, wounding the man, the official said, adding that the marshals' actions were consistent with their training. Officials said later that the man had died of his injuries.

 

Upon investigation, there was no evidence that the man had a bomb, an official said.

 

This is the first time an air marshal has fired a weapon on or near an airplane, a federal official said.

 

Footage from the scene shows armed SWAT team members carrying rifles outside the aircraft, along with more than a dozen of police vehicles. Paramedics were standing on the stairway to the aircraft.

 

The Boeing 757, which can hold about 180 passengers, was due to take off for Orlando at 2:18 p.m. ET. It had arrived in Miami at 12:16 p.m. ET, according to the airline's Web site. No other flights at Miami International were disrupted Wednesday, an airport official said.

 

 

 

 

CAREFUL, JOKES CAN KILL

:burn:

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Guest imported_El Mamerro

[sF1]And people don't believe we live in a fucking police state, when you can't even make a joke and not get shot by the pigs. I went to colledge[/sF1]

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Originally posted by El Mamerro@Dec 7 2005, 09:43 PM

[sF1]And people don't believe we live in a fucking police state, when you can't even make a joke and not get shot by the pigs. I went to colledge[/sF1]

 

 

haha

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That's funny. I don't remember saying that. Maybe I have Alzheimers. :tongue:

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As a voice of the right, I would say this shit is fucking wrong. I bet all the liberals are all screaming right now about how right this is. Bullshit. So what the guy was screaming he had a bomb? He went through customs etc, so obviusly that wasn't true and the plane wasn't even in flight or taking off. From what I understand they were boarding and dude freaked...how many 2 year old babies do the same shit?

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Guest imported_Tesseract

Nothing a kick in the face couldnt fix but i guess guns are more fun.

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I heard on a news report that he was reaching in a bag or something like that, thats when the air marshall shot him.

Anyway, , just like the dude on the London tube, that bag story will probably fold up like origami later in the investigation.

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his wife told the air marshalls that he was bi polar and had no medication. passengers said they heard nothing about a bomb from him, but he was acting like a kook. if indeed he did say he had a bomb, and i was an air marshall, i would put rounds in him. sounds like that dudes wife should have made sure he had medicine.

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Guest imported_Tesseract

So next time you're flying make sure you wont turn over to a friend and say 'damn, i really feel like bombing'

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Originally posted by dowmagik@Dec 8 2005, 01:02 PM

his wife told the air marshalls that he was bi polar and had no medication. passengers said they heard nothing about a bomb from him, but he was acting like a kook. if indeed he did say he had a bomb, and i was an air marshall, i would put rounds in him. sounds like that dudes wife should have made sure he had medicine.

 

Yeah, man...

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How the hell were the air marshalls supposed to know he was bipolar? Dumb fuck shouldn't have been flying like that in the first place.

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Originally posted by Dawood@Dec 8 2005, 02:50 AM

Anyway, , just like the dude on the London tube, that bag story will probably fold up like origami later in the investigation.

 

 

 

Alpizar Didn't Say 'Bomb', According to Passengers

By CURT ANDERSON, AP

 

MIAMI (Dec. 9) - The airline passenger shot to death by federal marshals who said he made a bomb threat was agitated even before boarding and later appeared to be desperate to get off the plane, some fellow travelers said.

 

 

One passenger said he "absolutely never heard the word 'bomb' at all" during the uproar as the Orlando-bound flight prepared to leave Miami on Wednesday.

 

Federal officials say Rigoberto Alpizar made the threat in the jetway, after running up the plane's aisle from his seat at the back of the jetliner. They opened fire because the 44-year-old Home Depot employee ignored their orders to stop, reached into his backpack and said he had a bomb, according to authorities.

 

Alpizar's brother, speaking from Costa Rica, said he would never believe the shooting was necessary.

 

"I can't conceive that the marshals wouldn't be able to overpower an unarmed, single man, especially knowing he had already cleared every security check," Carlos Alpizar told The Orlando Sentinel.

 

Some passengers said they noticed Alpizar while waiting to get on the plane. They said he was singing "Go Down Moses" as his wife tried to calm him. Others said they saw him having lunch and described him as restless and anxious, but not dangerous.

 

"The wife was telling him, 'Calm down. Let other people get on the plane. It will be all right,"' said Alan Tirpak, a passenger.

 

 

What They Said

 

 

''The first time I heard the word 'bomb' was when I was interviewed by the FBI. ...This was wrong. This man should be with his family for Christmas.''

 

-- Flight 924 passenger John McAlhany, who said slain passenger Rigoberto Alpizar appeared to be anxious, but not a threat

 

 

Some passengers, including John McAlhany, said they believe Alpizar was no threat to anyone.

 

McAlhany, a 44-year-old construction worker who was returning home from a fishing trip in Key West, said he was sitting in Seat 21C when he noticed a commotion a few rows back.

 

"I heard him saying to his wife, 'I've got to get off the plane,"' McAlhany said. "He bumped me, bumped a couple of stewardesses. He just wanted to get off the plane."

 

Alpizar ran up the aisle into the first-class cabin, where marshals chased him onto the jetway, McAlhany said.

 

McAlhany said he "absolutely never heard the word 'bomb' at all."

 

"The first time I heard the word 'bomb' was when I was interviewed by the FBI," McAlhany said. "They kept asking if I heard him say the B-word. And I said, 'What is the B-word?' And they were like, 'Bomb.' I said no. They said, 'Are you sure?' And I am."

 

Added another passenger, Mary Gardner: "I did not hear him say that he had a bomb."

 

Officials say there was no bomb and they found no connection to terrorism.

 

Witnesses said Alpizar's wife, Anne Buechner, had frantically tried to explain he was bipolar, a mental illness also known as manic-depression, and was off his medication.

 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness called on the Air Marshal Service and other law enforcement agencies to train officers if they don't already in responding to people with severe mental illness.

 

Others said Alpizar's mental health didn't matter while marshals were trying to talk to him and determine if the threat was real.

 

Shooting to maim or injure - rather than kill - is not an option for federal agents, said John Amat, national operations vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which includes air marshals in its membership.

 

"The person was screaming, saying he would blow up the plane, reaching into his bag - they had to react," Amat said.

 

"The bottom line is, we're trained to shoot to stop the threat," said Amat, who is also a deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service in Miami. "Hollywood has this perception that we are such marksmen we can shoot an arm or leg with accuracy. We can't. These guys were in a very tense situation. In their minds they had to believe this person was an imminent threat to themselves or the people on the plane."

 

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the two air marshals appeared to have acted properly when they shot to kill.

 

Both air marshals were hired in 2002 from other federal law enforcement agencies and were placed on administrative leave, said Brian Doyle, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

 

Miami-Dade Police were investigating and the medical examiner's office was performing an autopsy on Alpizar, who was from Costa Rica but became a U.S. citizen years ago. He lived in Maitland, an Orlando suburb.

 

Neighbors said the couple had been returning to their home from a missionary trip to Ecuador. Buechner works for the Council on Quality and Leadership based in Towson, Md., a nonprofit organization focused on improving life for people with disabilities and mental illness, the organization said in a statement.

 

David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, said he thinks the shooting may prove more "reassuring than disturbing" to the traveling public his organization represents. "This is a reminder they are there and are protecting the passengers and that it is a seriously deadly business," he said.

 

Armed police boarded the aircraft after the shooting, with some passengers in hysterics. McAlhany said he remembers having a shotgun pressed into his head by one officer, and hearing cries and screams from many passengers aboard the aircraft after the shooting in the jetway.

 

"This was wrong," McAlhany said. "This man should be with his family for Christmas. Now he's dead."

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whaaaa??????

 

i never heard of cops overreacting before

i guess that'll learn ya to act up on a plane.

 

it is not the first time someone 'acting strangely' has died on an airplane.

 

18 March 2005; American Airlines 767; en route from Los Aangeles to New York JFK: The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Los Angeles to JFK airport in New York when a passenger allegedly assaulted a flight attendant. The 48 year old passenger was then restrained by the cabin crew using flexible handcuffs. Reportedly, seven passengers also helped to restrain the passenger during the latter stages of the flight. At some point, the passenger had difficulty breathing. After landing at JFK, the unconcious passenger was then taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The New York City medical examiner's office later ruled the death an accident that was caused acute cocaine and alcohol intoxication, which was aggravated by heart trouble. No other crew members or passengers were seriously injured or killed. Because this passenger death was due at least in part to the deliberate actions of that passenger, this does not constitute a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com.

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That stupid motherfucker shouldn't have assaulted a FA then. BTW it's a federal offense to interfere with their jobs.

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Seriously what the fuck is wrong with the mind set in the USA , and more alarmingly why isnt anyone diong anything about it .........?

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About what? What about the fact that people don't understand that this guy said he had a bomb, then reached into his bag. If it's you standing there, are you going to wait around and see if he does. And then he ran. Everybody knows that's a surefire way to get your ass shot. The possibility that that someone would take a bomb on a plane is pretty high.

I'm not saying that this was not a tragedy, because it was, but the air marshalls had to make a split second decision based on what this guy yelled out. If they didn't do anything and he had a bomb, everybody would be like "OMG why didn't they do anything".

The thing in the London tube was a completely different situation. That guy never threatened to have a bomb, and he wasn't directly running away from the cops.

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