A hijacker who killed a co-pilot and wounded three others aboard a Brazilian jetliner was hospitalized in stable condition Friday, authorities said. They described the man as a "psychopath."
Security forces shot Raimundo Conceicao on Thursday night as he walked toward a getaway plane with the pilot of the Boeing 737 from Brazil's domestic airline.Conceicao then turned and shot the pilot, wounding him in the leg, officials said. Conceicao killed co-pilot Salvador Evangelista and wounded two crew members earlier, they said.
Conceicao, armed with a .38-caliber pistol, held 105 people hostage for eight hours aboard the plane. He said he was protesting the economic policies of President Jose Sarney and wanted the pilot to crash the jet into a government building.
The 28-year-old forced the pilot to fly the plane from the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte to the capital, Brasilia, 150 miles to the southeast, but was told it would not be allowed to land, officials said. After nearly running out of fuel, it landed in Goiania, 125 miles southwest of Brasilia and 850 miles northwest of Rio.
Spokesman Alcir Pereira of the Santa Genoveva Hospital in Goiania said today Conceicao had been operated on for three police gunshot wounds.
The wounded pilot, Fernando Murillo Silva, and the flight engineer were in stable condition. A wounded steward was treated and released, officials said.
The Boeing 737, with 98 passengers and seven crew members aboard, was on a routine flight from Porto Velho in the western Amazon jungle to Rio de Janeiro when the eight-hour ordeal began. No Americans were aboard, the Air Force Ministry said.
Twenty minutes after the jet took off from Belo Horizonte, the hijacker shot the steward and entered the cockpit. He shot co-pilot Evangelista in the head and the flight engineer in the leg, said air force spokesman Col. Eden Avolinsque.
Federal Police Chief Romeu Tuma said Conceicao told the control tower at Goiania's Santa Genoveva airport that he wanted to "slam the Boeing 737 into a ministry building in Brasilia."
Air Force Minister Octavio Moreira Lima told The Associated Press in Brasilia: "The hijacker told negotiators he wanted to settle accounts with the president over the country's economic policies. . . . He is a psychopath."