Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Shooting of Costa Rican man is ruled justified

Rigoberto Alpizar resided in Mailtand, Florida but was a native of Costa Rica.Posted on Wed, May. 24, 2006

The air marshals who shot and killed a bipolar man who said he had a bomb aboard a plane at MIA won't face any charges. Rigoberto Alpizar, a resident of Maitland, Florida was born in Costa Rica

BY NICHOLAS SPANGLER
Miami Herald

Two federal air marshals who shot to death a Central Florida man at Miami International Airport last December after he bolted from an American Airlines flight, telling some passengers he was carrying a bomb, were ''legally justified'' in their actions, the Miami-Dade state attorney's office announced Tuesday.

The death of Rigoberto Alpizar, 44, of Maitland drew international attention because he was the first passenger killed by air marshals since the federal government sought to bolster air security after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

''The shooting death of Mr. Alpizar, while tragic, is legally justified in light of the surrounding circumstances presented to the air marshals,'' the state attorney's office wrote in the 46-page report concluding its investigation.

The marshals ''demonstrated remarkable restraint in dealing with Mr. Alpizar,'' investigators noted. Neither will be charged with any crime.

The report also suggested a partial explanation for Alpizar's actions: ''It is reasonable to conclude Mr. Alpizar was not properly medicated for his bipolar disorder on the incident date,'' investigators wrote.

To read the whole article click here.

To read the official State Attorney's office report (in Adobe Reader format) click here. Warning: page 36 contains graphic photographs.

1 comment:

Erin R. said...

Hmm... usually I'm not a huge fan of these kind of decisions, and while it's certainly tragic, he was screaming "fire in a crowded building".

It was a potentially dangerous situation and the air marshalls did what they were trained to do. I think we can never say what we would do in that situation because when you're actually in it, you act on instinct and not on rational thought. So

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