Well now…I guess the idiot should have taken his medication, eh?
In this day and age, we can ill afford to take any chances. Kudos to the fed air marshal.
MIAMI – A passenger who claimed to have a bomb in a carry-on bag was shot and killed by a federal air marshal Wednesday on a jetway to an American Airlines plane that had arrived from Colombia, officials said. Authorities did not immediately say whether any bomb was found.
Homeland Security Department spokesman Brian Doyle said the dead man was a 44-year-old U.S. citizen. It was the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks that an air marshal had shot at anyone, he said.
According to a witness, the man frantically ran down the aisle of the Boeing 757 and his wife explained 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 on the ground, but he did not comply and was shot when he apparently reached into the bag, Doyle said.
Afterward, investigators put all the baggage on the tarmac and let bomb-sniffing dogs examine it in an effort to establish whether there were explosives aboard.
Passenger Mary Gardner 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.
The plane, Flight 924, had arrived from Medellin, Colombia, at 12:16 p.m. and was scheduled to leavet two hours later for Orlando, American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner said.
“I don’t know yet if the passenger had been on the plane and was getting off, or was starting to board the aircraft,” he said.
The shooting happened shortly after 2 p.m., suggesting the plane was getting ready to take off, he said. About 105 passengers scheduled to fly to Orlando, he said.
Martin Gonzalez, spokesman for Colombia’s civil aviation agency, said the flight “left normally with no problems.”
There were only 32 air marshals at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks. The Bush administration hired thousands more afterward, but the exact number is classified.