US air marshals exonerated in Miami airport shooting

Washington DC
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US air marshals were exonerated in the December fatal shooting of an American Airlines passenger on a Miami airport jetway, say Florida state authorities.

In a report signed yesterday the state attorney Katherine Rundle, the two federal air marshals (FAMs) were found to be justified in killing Rigoberto Alpizar after he disembarked flight 924 on December 7 shouting that he was carrying a bomb.

The two FAMs issued several warnings in English and Spanish before opening fire on Alpizar, who was hit by six of the nine bullets fired from the two air marshals.

Rundle’s report, which was complied by Miami Police Department division chief Michael Gilfarb, noted that it is “factually and legally irrelevant” that the passenger, who died at the scene, was bipolar (otherwise known as manic depressive) and that his wife was shouting that he required medication.

It is also irrelevant that Alpizar was not carrying a bomb, nor that the passenger had been screened by the airport’s US Transportation Security Administration officers when he arrived from Peru earlier that day.

Alpizar lived with his wife Anne Buechner in Maitland, Florida. They had been working in Ecuador as translators for medical personnel, and had vacationed in Peru before returning to the USA.