LAX Shooting: 3 people are hurt in the LA airport after a gunman with a semi-automatic weapon opened fire, shooting a Transportation Security Administration agent, on Friday. Police said the suspect was in custody as flights were disrupted nationwide.
Los Angeles police department assistant chief Earl Paysinger said the suspect apparently was injured, though it was unclear what his condition is.
The gunshots were reported at Terminal 3, which is home to Virgin America and other airlines.
Los Angeles police Officer Norma Eisenman said the suspect exchanged fire with airport police. The airport was being swept for precautionary measures, and the bomb unit was on scene.Eisenman said the conditions of the injured people were unknown. Paysinger said the Transportation Security Administration employee was injured and transported to the hospital.
Television images showed two people being wheeled away by firefighters. Airport staff evacuated travelers.
Witness Brian Keech told The Associated Press he heard “about a dozen gunshots” from inside a security gate at the terminal.
The Federal Aviation Administration said a “ground stop” was in effect for all flights heading to Los Angeles, meaning planes in any other airport in the country couldn’t take off for the city. Some flights already in the air were allowed to land. LAX air traffic controller Michael Foote said some flights were still being allowed to depart.
Foote said his colleagues in the control tower saw passengers spilling from the terminal onto the tarmac, “evacuating the building, getting out as fast as they could.”
Other travellers described a chaotic scene as airport security staff evacuated terminals, including onto to the tarmac. Hundreds of people remained gathered outside next to airplanes.
“People started saying there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,” said Natalie Morin, who was heading to San Francisco for a graduate school interview.