BREAKING: Shots Fired Aboard Passenger Plane

Via AP: Shots were fired on board an American Airlines flight that had landed at Miami International Airport, according to broadcast reports. At least one person was wounded, the reports said. The plane had just arrived from Colombia and was headed to Orlando. Television showed police SWAT officers surrounding the plane. Airport and Miami-Dade County police officials said they had no immediate comment.

CNN is reporting that the shots were fired by a Federal Air Marshall.

UPDATE: Airline Passenger Who Made Threat Killed

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. No bomb was found in the bag, a U.S. official said. 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 while his wife tried to explain 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 down on the ground, but he did not comply and was shot when he apparently reached into the bag, Doyle said.

The shooting occurred shortly after 2 p.m. as the plane was about to take off for Orlando after about two hours on the ground in Miami. “I don’t know yet if the passenger had been on the plane and was getting off, or was starting to board the aircraft,” airline spokesman Tim Wagner said.

Obviously, this is a tragedy, but I hope no one decides that we should disarm federal air marshals or worse, that we should remove them from passenger airplanes. That would be another tragedy. 

More over at The Counterterrorism Blog

UPDATE: Desperation

Comments

  1. I don’t see it as a tragedy. It is unfortunate that the guy was only bluffing and had to lose his life because of it. Is is reported he was “bi-polar,” meaning he was psychologically unstable, but it is no tragedy.

    It is actually a very positive occurrence – our defensive measures worked as designed! It’s too bad that this nut-case had to pay the price for his nutty behavior – but there are plenty of people (including those on that airplane) that don’t consider it a tragedy.

  2. How about giving the marshals non-lethal weapons to shoot people with?

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