Several days after US Air Marshals shot and killed bi-polar passenger Rigoberto Alpizar, some mental health advocacy groups are now questioning this action.
The facts of the case are pretty simple. Mr. Rigoberto said he had a bomb, ran from authorities and then reached into his bag. So they shot him.
His wife says that he was bi-polar and off his meds. In fact she was reportedly screaming that as the authorities chased her husband. Some groups say the air marshals should have listened to her and taken the fact that Mr. Rigoberto was mentally ill under consideration.
As a frequent flyer I think the air marshals did the right thing. They had to make their decision in a split second, and to be honest if somebody says they have a bomb, I think they should err on the side of caution and believe that person.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness doesn’t agree with me though. They think that the Federal Air Marshal Service should examine their training programs and prepare their officers to respond more effectively to people who may have a mental illness.
Well, I’m not exactly sure what that means; but if I'm on a plane and somebody claims to have a bomb, I don’t want the air marshals waiting for a psych eval before they decide to shoot him. When somebody says they have a bomb, in my book it’s the same thing as actually having a bomb.
Now, I’m sorry for Mr. Alpizar’s family, but if he was that unstable he probably should not have been traveling.
In my book, the air marshals did their job. And they did it very well.