Passengers Didn't Hear Alpizar Say 'Bomb' in MIA Incident

Federal officials say Rigoberto Alpizar made the threat in the jetway, after running up the plane's aisle from his seat at the back of the jetliner.


Miami-Dade Police were investigating and the medical examiner's office was performing an autopsy on Alpizar, who was from Costa Rica but became a U.S. citizen years ago. He lived in Maitland, an Orlando suburb.

Neighbors said the couple had been returning to their home from a missionary trip to Ecuador. Buechner works for the Council on Quality and Leadership based in Towson, Md., a nonprofit organization focused on improving life for people with disabilities and mental illness, the organization said in a statement.

David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, said he thinks the shooting may prove more "reassuring than disturbing" to the traveling public his organization represents. "This is a reminder they are there and are protecting the passengers and that it is a seriously deadly business," he said.

Armed police boarded the aircraft after the shooting, with some passengers in hysterics. McAlhany said he remembers having a shotgun pressed into his head by one officer, and hearing cries and screams from many passengers aboard the aircraft after the shooting in the jetway.

"This was wrong," McAlhany said. "This man should be with his family for Christmas. Now he's dead."

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Associated Press writers Andrew Bridges, Mark Sherman and Lara Jakes Jordan in Washington; Mike Schneider and Travis Reed in Orlando; and Jessica Gresko and Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this story.

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