LAX shooting: 1 killed, gunman caught, thousands of travelers delayed (+video)
LAX shooting on Friday left one TSA agent dead and several others wounded, before police shot the attacker. The gunman at Los Angeles Airport apparently acted alone. The incident scrambled flight schedules around the country.
A shooting at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Friday morning appears to have involved a lone gunman with no ties to any terrorist organization.Skip to next paragraph
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Brad Knickerbocker is a staff writer and editor based in Ashland, Oregon.
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“At this point, we don’t see any additional threat at the airport,” FBI Special Agent in Charge David Bowdich said at a press conference midday Friday.
Still, the violent disruption scrambled travel plans for thousands of passengers around the country. Those trying to fly from LAX, or who were expecting visitors flying in from other cities, were told to expect “significant delays.”
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“All flights at LAX today will be significantly affected,” airport officials tweeted. (Check @lax_official for the latest information.) Some inbound flights were diverted to nearby Ontario Airport. JetBlue flights began operating to and from Long Beach Airport. Delta was issuing travel waivers for its customers.
Two hours after the sound of gunfire sent travelers at the airport diving for cover, as flights to and from Los Angeles were held on the ground on a busy travel day, authorities reported that three TSA employees had been shot and one of those had died.
As pieced together in early reports citing eye witnesses and security personnel, the shooter – identified only as a US citizen with an airline ticket – had parked his car at the airport, ran up an escalator into Terminal 3, pulled an assault-type rifle from a bag, and began firing as he approached the terminal area where passengers must first show their tickets and government-issued identification before having their luggage and themselves checked by TSA. Witnesses say they heard eight to 10 shots.
In all, seven people were injured, six of whom were taken to hospitals. Armed law enforcement personnel then tracked the shooter through the terminal. There was an exchange of gunfire near a Burger King restaurant; the shooter was shot and taken into custody.
Some passengers who already had cleared security rushed onto the tarmac to evacuate, while others were locked down in airport restaurants and lounges, the Associated Press reported. The airport was being swept as a precaution, and the bomb unit was on scene.
Evacuated passengers were loaded onto buses by the dozens, while others decided to walk off the airport grounds. People trailing rolling suitcases were seen on the normally quiet streets and sidewalks outside LAX.