From the December 2005 Idaho Observer:

Shoot to kill—with no regrets

MIAMI— Federal marshals killed Rigoberto Alpizar, 44, after the bipolar man turned and exited the Boeing 757 bound for Orlando he had just boarded. Alpizar and his wife of 20 years Anne were on the final leg of their return home from missionary work in South America. The Costa Rican native immigrated to the U.S. 20 years ago. He became agitated and ran down the aisle in an attempt to leave the plane. Witnesses report that Anne ran after him shouting he was sick and did not take his medicine. In moments the passengers reported hearing five or six shots.

After the shooting, the plane was swarmed with armed police ordering everyone off the plane. Passengers report that police were rough and extremely impolite. Later, the plainclothes marshals claimed that Alpizar had told them he had a bomb and shot him after he refused to give them the bag he was carrying.

Witnesses swear they did not hear Alpizar say anything.

So far, not one of the agencies involved, or a spokesman from the Bush administration, has come forward to acknowledge that the use of lethal force resulted in the tragic death of an innocent man. To the contrary, Bush administration spokesmen have praised the marshals for their vigilance in protecting America against terrorists. "They did an outstanding job," said Dave Adams of the Air Marshals Service.

David Laird, a former director of security for Northwest Airlines said, if marshals had suspected Alpizar of holding a bomb, shooting him would have been out of protocol because of the increased risk of detonation.

Bush Spokesman Scott McClellan said that the marshals acted in accordance with their "extensive training" and that the American people should feel safer knowing such qualified professionals are protecting them.

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