Airplane Shooting - Alpizar

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Neighbors who knew Rigoberto Alpizar describe him as a simple man who had worked in the paint department of a home-supply store.

And they say they're shocked and bewildered after learning he was shot to death by federal air marshals at Miami International Airport. Authorities say Alpizar ran off a plane claiming he had a bomb in his backpack.

People who knew him say Alpizar spent his leisure time tending to the yard of his ranch-style home in the Orlando suburb of Maitland.

Louis Gunther, who says he was watching Alpizar's home while he and his wife were on a missionary trip, describes his 44-year-old neighbor as "a nice guy, always smiling, always talkative."

According to a witness, Alpizar ran up the aisle of the plane, flailing his arms, while his wife tried to explain that he was mentally ill and had not taken his medication.

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