Gunfire broke out in a Los Angeles International Airport terminal on Friday around 9:30 pacific time, forcing passengers to evacuate to the surrounding tarmac.
The Los Angeles Fire Department is calling the event a “multi-patient incident.” The city’s interim fire chief, Jim Featherstone, reports “At this time the LAFD has treated seven people, transported six to hospitals,” though not all of those are necessarily gunshot victims.
Reports indicate that at least one Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent was killed.
“We have multiple victims that have been shot and have been transported,” said LAX Chief of Police Patrick Gannon, “We have done security sweeps through the entire airport. we feel confident that this particular incident is tied to terminal three, and terminal three only.”
The gunman was wounded and taken into custody. That individual is reportedly in custody and being airlifted to a hospital. CBS believes the gunman was an off-duty TSA agent who targeted TSA employees at the security checkpoint. Fox News added that he was a white man with short cropped hair, carrying a rifle.
“We believe at this point that there was a lone shooter,” Gannon told reporters Friday afternoon.
A Fox Sports columnist who happened to be in the area reported hundreds of people on the tarmac, some being loaded into buses, as alarms sounded and police helicopters converged over the airport. He took this picture:
A livestream from CBS reported that a large box of ammunition was found on the scene. A twitter user apparently on the scene posted this picture of the weapon used:
All departures from LAX weregrounded, but the airport plans to slowly reopen.
This is the second airport shooting in just over six months. In May, a gunman opened fire in a Houston airport before turning the gun on himself. Meanwhile, the TSA is reporting a record number of firearms being found at airport checkpoints, up 30 percent from last year.
LAX was also the scene of a terrorism-motivated shooting in 2002, when a gunman killed two and injured three before being shot dead by a guard at the ticket counter for Israel’s national airline, El Al. Additionally, the airport was the target of a foiled bombing plot on New Year’s Eve, 1999.