LOS ANGELES (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Authorities say a suspect is in custody after opening fire at the Los Angeles International Airport and injuring multiple people.
Los Angeles police Officer Norma Eisenman says officers responded to the incident Friday which occurred at 9:30 a.m. PST in terminal 3. Multiple people were hit by gunfire, she says but their condition is unknown.
She says the suspect exchanged fire with airport police and was taken into custody. The airport is being swept for precautionary measures and the bomb unit is on scene.
Airport staff evacuated travelers and flights were disrupted nationwide.
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.
The Federal Aviation Administration said a “ground stop” was in affect for all flights heading to Los Angeles, meaning planes in any other airport in the country can’t take off for the city.
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 investigated what happened.
“People started saying there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,” said Natalie Morin, a senior at USC who was heading to San Francisco for a graduate school interview.
Emergency crews responded to a multi-patient incident, Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
Terminal 3 is home to Virgin America and other airlines.
CBS 11 contacted North Texas based American and Southwest Airlines to determine what impact the shootings would have on operations.
A spokesperson for Southwest says its operation was impacted. Operations were expected to be up and running again at LAX within the hour, according to Whitney Eichinger.
“American’s operations were not directly impacted initially as we operate out of terminal 4 and this occurrence was in terminal 3. But the LAX Airport has implemented a complete ground stop and we are awaiting further word,” said Kent Powell in a written statement. ” We at present do not fully know what ultimate impact this will have on our operations. We will do our best to keep you appraised as this develops further.”
As of 1:30 p.m. local time, three American Airlines flights from DFW to LAX were being held, with the length of the delay unknown. As a ground stop remained in effect at LAX all flights headed for the airport were being diverted and delayed. There was no immediate word when the ground stop would be lifted.
TSA’s Union Leader issued a statement in response to the shootings. Helicopter video taken outside the terminal showed what appeared to be a TSA officer, who had been shot, being wheeled to an ambulance.
“We are sickened by reports of today’s shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers and Transportation Security Officers killed or injured in this heinous act. Thank you to all of our brave TSOs who put their lives on the line every day to keep the flying public safe. AFGE is monitoring the situation along with TSA management,” said American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. AFGE represents more than 45,000 TSA agents across the country.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
- 14,000+ Texans Pick Insurance Exchange Plans
- Arlington Police Find 3 People Shot Inside Vehicle
- Cancelled Dallas Marathon Donates Unused Food
- Dallas Native, Golf Pro Given “Key To The City”
- Pope Francis Is Time’s Person of the Year, Texas Senator Makes Top Five
- Woman Forced To Strip And Serve Jail Time For Overdue Ticket
- Veteran Wants Flag Vandals To Take Responsibility For Crime
- Lightning Strikes Man Twice At Rednecks With Paychecks
- Postal Worker Pleads Guilty In $450K Jewelry Theft Case
- Jerry Jones: ‘London Could Be An Expansion
- PHOTOS: Your Pet Pictures