Gunned down...

Wow...don't yell bomb while on an air plane in Miami! It could be the last thing you say or do.

What do you think about this 44-yr-old man getting shot? The reports say that he hadn't taken his medicine and was going off the wall.

Cheryl C.


  • 14 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I haven't heard the details yet, but my first thought upon hearing the quickie radio news bulletin was that anyone who yells "bomb" on a plane or in an airport has, by design or default, effectively decided to end his own life. Now, it would be a terrible shame if the man were mentally ill, but -- and I don't feel particularly great or unambivalent saying this -- my second thought was relief that there was quick and decisive action in the face of a bomb threat.
  • I totally agree with Whirlwind and am not sure where HRinNH was going with his/her post. As I read the story in this morning's paper, the individual yelled that he had a bomb. When the Marshalls tried to take the backback with the bomb the individual jumped out of the plane and started running down the tarmac with the Marshalls in pursuit. It wasn't until the individual changed course and started running at the Marshalls, who logically thought he had a bomb, that they had to shoot him to save their own lives and the lives of the nearby ramp workers.

    Case closed. I feel sorry for the individual and his wife. But in our current world, I can't see any other course of action and I hope that the Marshalls on any of my future flights take the same actions.

    By the way, the newspaper article I read also mentioned that the wife started yelling that the man was bi-polar and didn't take his medication. Why was she letting her husband get on a plane, knowing that he did not take his medications? As harsh as it may sound, I honestly believe she bears some responsibility for her husband's death. I have a nephew and two friends with bi-polar teenage children. If I had a say in the situation, I wouldn't let any of these individuals out of their residences, let alone on an airplane. Bi-polar individuals can be very agressive and dangerous to those around them, even loved ones. One of the teenagers pulled a knife on his brother. The wife of the individual that was killed in Miami must have known the dire consequences of letting her husband get on an airplane without his medication.
  • Rita, I had read an article also but wanted to get others thoughts. I do believe the Marshall acted appropriately. But, as you stated, he shouldn't have been there to begin with.

    Now, had he not reached into his bag as if to pull out the bomb, he may have not been shot. Just yelling and running around waving your hands isn't cause to be shot...unless of course the Marshalls believed the bomb to be on his person.

    Cheryl C.
  • I think it sends a very important message to terrorists. You bomb or attempt to bomb we will shoot you! Plain and simple!

    If you don't want to be shot, do not act like a terroist. Federal Marshal's do not know that you are off your medication. People off their medication can be just as dangerous as a terrorist.

  • My brother is bi-polar. This guy either wanted to die (which is truly sad) or he had been off his meds for more than one day. If he had been taking his meds as he should, they would have been at a therapeautic level and he would have had to miss more than a days worth of doses to get to that extreme of a depressed/manic state. If that is the case, then his wife shares more of the blame by not forcing him to take his meds. Bi-polar is a debilating disease. When a bi-polar person is on their meds they function fine. But the worst part of any disease is that those that suffer just want to be like everyone else. For those with bi-polar, they crave normalcy. So they begin to think that they do not need their meds because they have been acting fine. So they start to cut back on their dosage. Then they stop and they have something happen to them that triggers either depression or mania. My brother was more of the type to get depressed. So he would not get out of bed for days. We would have to force him to get up, make him take his meds. When they re-entered his body and reached that therapeautic level, he was fine again. At least to us. For him, he was trapped. I would sit and talk to him and he would tell me that he felt dead - the meds made him numb. He could not feel anything and felt like he was moving in slow motion while the world was going by at 80 miles an hour. He continues to struggle - has problems with relationships, holding down jobs. It is a shame because he is such a compassionate person and a hard worker. I cannot begin to understand what it must like to live that way everyday. But I can support him and tell him I care about him.

    The Marshall made the right choice. It was an unfortunate event. Yesterday evening, there was a press conference and they said there was not a bomb. I wonder how long it will take the ACLU or some other group to start screaming that the marshall was wrong and that this is an outrage?

    Whenever I start to feel blue, I start breathing again!
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 12-08-05 AT 11:35AM (CST)[/font][br][br]It's unfortunate but, unfortunately, necessary. It would be be unreasonable to expect the marshalls to figure out who is a terrorist or if someone was off their meds. I think that he was shot when he reached in his backpack. That would be the signal to deal with it. Had he just kept yelling and doing nothing more than waving his hands around, the marshalls might have had time to evaluate alternatives to shooting him as they are probably trained to deal with different scenarios.
  • The first thing I thought was: suicide by Air Marshall. I actually feel more sorry for the Marshalls.
  • Well, if that was the case (and it may have been) he wasn't thinking much of his wife. What is she getting out of this?

    Cheryl C.
  • a possible lawsuit (yes, I am very cynical).

  • In the past few years, I've had personal or professional connections with five suicides. In all cases, there had been diagnoses of bipolar disease, depression, and/or alcoholism. In three of the cases, young children were left behind. Some would say that these suicides were the ultimate acts of selfishness, but those of us lucky enough to have reasonably good mental health can never fathom the depths of the hopelessness and suffering that precede such an act. In this case, if his was a deliberate and conscious decision to commit suicide, he was either not rational enough to consider his wife or he thought she would be better off without him. I believe that's what suicide victims often think.
  • I don't know. Having worked "in the field," so to speak, I think some people just get to a point where their pain is so profound that suicide makes perfect them. One of the common misperceptions therapists make is when they see a patient who is suddenly upbeat, which makes them think they're making progress, only to find out the next day they killed themselves. The therapist realizes that the reason the patient was upbeat was because he made the decision to kill himself and so the pressure was off. The tragedy in this case is the anguish of the people left behind, including the Marshall’s. Cops aren't cold-blooded killers.
  • Well said, Crout. Regarding the shooting, I saw an article in a local rag complaining that air marshalls are not properly trained to deal with unruly passengers. I do not think that is their job. That's the responsibility of the crew. Once the passenger goes over the line from unruly to uncontrollable, then the air marshall reveals him/herself and "handles" the situation.

    My first thought upon hearing the news of this event was one of comfort.
  • I am in agreement with you all. The Marshall had to make a split second decision: "do I protect my life and the lives of others or do I give this guy the benfit of the doubt?"
    I just read another article quoting different witnesses who said the guy was clearly agitated before he got on the plane, that his wife was trying to calm him down and telling him everything would be fine. Based on what others have posted above, I can't help but wonder why she would let him get on the plane. Can you imagine what would have happened if the plane was already in the air when he tried to get off?

  • I think its unfortunate and sad, but its life in our times now. The marshall had to make a split second decision and who can blame him/them for making the one they day. We would all be real agitated if it was a true terrorist bomber and they decided to do nothing and 100's or more people were killed or injured. I don't blame the wife either; she has no control over the actions of another, even if it was her husband.

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