That story doesn't suprise me in the least, but an emphasis is made on "A handful of shoppers visible in the foreground of the scene appeared to turn their heads and watch the incident." Haven't they listened to their own teachings regarding crime? If you are being mugged, give the criminal anything him wants. If your house is being robbed, do not antaginize the nervous criminal or obstruct them as this may incline them to harm you. If your plane is being highjacked, do not act the hero, you will likely just be made into an example. (I think of Reservior Dogs)
We are told to lie down in the face of possible death or injury. "What is more important to you, your money or your life?" What would such a bystander be expected to do when the convention is to freeze up like a deer in headlights? If I have the misfortune to be mugged, I will probably die (over nothing! they would say) as I keep two stories in place of those whimpy teachings. First, the fourth plane that landed in Pennsylvania didn't land in Washington DC on September eleventh. The second is a story I heard over the radio. A man (let's call him Jeff) was going home drunk with a friend. A mugger came up and demanded Jeff's wallet. Jeff said that something clicked inside him, that he would not let the terrorist terrorize him. So he said, Not today. The friend caved in immediately. The mugger turned back, but Jeff was resolute. The mugger ran off with just the friend's wallet. The friend yammered about his craziness and the story ends.