After telling federal air marshals that he had a bomb in his carry-on backpack, a passenger on an American Airlines flight was shot and killed after he attempted to reach into the bag. Flight 924 from Medellin Colombia, was on the ground at Miami International Airport during a two-hour stopover on its way to Orlando, Florida, when the incident occurred, according to CNN.
James Bauer, head of the Federal Air Marshals field office in Miami, later said no explosives were found in the backpack, the Associated Press reports, and that there was no evidence the incident was connected to a terrorist plot. No other passengers were injured in the shooting.
The deceased has been identified as Rigoberto Alpizar, a 44-year-old U.S. citizen who is believed to be an Orlando native. Officials said during a news briefing that Alpizar had been en route from Quito, Ecuador, and was on the last leg of his journey back to his hometown.
Government officials said Alpizar was moving aggressively through the cabin and was on the jetway when he was told by an air marshal to stop and get on the ground, an order that he ignored. As Alpizar was getting off the aircraft, he again ignored the request to stop and told the marshal that he had a bomb in his bag. When he reached into the satchel, the marshal opened fire — the first time a federal air marshal had done so on a plane since 9/11.
Alpizar was running up and down the aisles of the plane, being chased by his wife during the flight, according to FOX News. Miami NBC affiliate WTVJ-TV reported that passengers on the flight said the woman had told people her husband was bipolar and hadn't taken his medicine.
Though passengers are not aware of their presence, flight attendants and the captain are informed in advance of the presence of an air marshal on a flight, and Adams said it is standard procedure to have more than one officer on a flight.
[This story originally published at 4:05 p.m. ET]