Daily Dispatches

LAX shooting suspect charged with murder

"LAX shooting suspect charged with murder" Continued...

Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said the gunman pulled what he described as an “assault rifle” from a bag as he approached a security checkpoint and began firing. 

“As you can imagine, a large amount of chaos took place in this entire incident,” he said.

Some passengers who already had cleared security rushed onto the tarmac to evacuate, while others were locked down in airport restaurants and lounges. Law enforcement officials are sweeping the airport as a precautionary measure. and a bomb unit is on scene.

OUR EARLIER REPORT: A man with a gun fired shots at the Los Angeles International Airport around 9:30 a.m. PDT this morning, prompting authorities to evacuate terminals and ground planes. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a “ground stop,” halting all flights from other airports headed for the city. It’s unclear when flights will resume. 

NBC Los Angeles reported one TSA agent and two others were injured in the incident. Initial reports indicated the gunman fired one shot at a security officer after approaching a document checker. Detective Gus Villanueva of the Los Angeles Police Department told NBCLA that police believe they have the gunman in custody.

Several news outlets are describing the gunman as a former or current TSA agent.

Witness Brian Keech told The Associated Press he heard “about a dozen gunshots” from inside a security gate at the terminal, which has been evacuated. Other travelers described a chaotic scene as airport security staff evacuated terminals and rushed them outside to the tarmac. Hundreds of people remained gathered outside next to airplanes as authorities tried to figure out what happened.

“People started saying there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,” said Natalie Morin, a senior at the University of Southern California who was heading to San Francisco for a graduate school interview.

A White House official told The Los Angeles Times that President Barack Obama had been informed of the incident: “We will continue to stay in touch with our federal and local partners. The LAPD is leading the response and investigation. We urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site. The president will continue to receive briefings throughout the day.”

Terminal 3, which was evacuated, is home to Virgin America and other airlines.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is a World Journalism Institute graduate. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.


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