As horrific as it was to hear the sound of a man’s violent death, another nightmare quickly unfolded for the passengers of American Airlines Flight 924.
Within seconds of Rigoberto Alpizar’s death at the hands of two air marshals who thought he had a bomb, a marshal stepped to the door of the plane, brandishing a weapon, eyeing the people on board.
"They stuck guns in our faces… They were waving the barrels, shouting ‘Everyone get your hands on the seats! No one move!’"
Alpizer’s bags were inspected before he came on the plane. He was clearly mentally unbalanced. His wife told everyone that.
As for the bomb threat
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.
Several others said the same thing. There was no bomb threat.
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.
After the London police executed an innocent Brazilian electrician on the tube, the police claimed the Brazilian was wearing an unseasonably heavy jacket (implication: he was wearing explosives under it), and when asked to stop by police, attempted to elude them by vaulting the barrier and running to the train. None of these statements by police were true. He was wearing a light jacket, entered the station normally, bought a newspaper, and walked to the train, where he knocked to the floor by several policemen and executed by shots to the head, in front of horrified onlookers. Killed because of his complexion, by police out of control, said Bob.
Now we have Mr. Rigoberto Alpizar, a mentally-ill American citizen of Costa Rican origin. The police have said he had a backpack strapped to his chest and threatened to blow up a bomb. He refused to put his bag down, so they shot him. Now these statements are under siege by passengers. Mr. Alpizar was carrying the backpack, it wasn’t "strapped to his chest." His blond American wife pursued him, frantically, hysterically and repeatedly claiming that he was mentally ill and had not taken his medication. Passengers have disputed that he said the word "bomb" — he just seemed extremely agitated, was flailing his arms, and wanted to get off the plane. The police shot him in the first class cabin or just outside on the jetway. Air marshalls and the SWAT team were threatening to the remaining passengers, making them put their hands on their heads, and pressing a shotgun into the head of one witness. After blowing up Mr. Alpizar’s backpack and baggage, the police found he had no bomb or weapon. These bags had gone through security and been searched at the point of origin. Killed because of his complexion, by police out of control, surmises Sue.