LAX Airport Is Shut Down After a Gunman Opened Fire in the Terminal
Nov 1 2013
UPDATED 4:22 PM PST: An eyewitness told WTMJ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that the shooter was specifically targeting TSA employees.
UPDATED 1:50 PM PST: Officials identified the suspect as a 23-year-old named Paul Ciancia.
UPDATED 1:20 PM PST: Sources now claim that the suspect is not dead, but still in critical condition
UPDATED 12:57 PM PST: The LA Times is now reporting that federal officials have said that the shooter was a ticketed passenger, not a TSA employee.
The Los Angeles Police Department is on tactical alert after a gunman opened fire with a high-powered rifle in Terminal 3 of Los Angeles International Airport this morning. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a TSA employee was killed and seven were wounded in the shooting.
The lone suspect has died, according to the Times. KTLA-TV is reporting he was screaming in English and was wearing something resembling gray-green military attire. No motive has been determined at this juncture, but the Times is reporting the gunman was also a TSA employee, but authorities are refusing to confirm this development.
Another KTLA eyewitness named Alex had a better picture of what the suspect looked like. "Short guy… bald, short hair, gray-green clothes, with a rifle," he told reporters.
An eyewitness named Nick Pugh told KTLA-TV that he heard between eight and ten shots within 30 seconds of the gunman first opening fire. He also claimed that he was handcuffed by authorities after running from the incident, but was then released after it was determined he was not a suspect.
The suspect presumably made it all the way to a gate in Terminal 3, based on pictures of the suspect's weapon. The suspect was shot and apprehended after taking refuge at a Burger King kiosk in the terminal. Photos of the rifle used in the attack have been circulating on Twitter, which was left behind after the suspect was taken into custody.
Flights out of LAX were grounded, but some flights have now been given the OK to depart. No new passengers are being allowed into the airport yet. Freeway exits to the airport have been closed. In addition, flights into Los Angeles are being diverted to other destinations. A source I spoke to who was on a flight from Denver that was scheduled to land in LA at 11 AM, told me that their flight was rerouted to Las Vegas ten minutes prior to landing. Areas of the airport have been evacuated, and KTLA is saying Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center took in three wounded.
Updates to come in this article as the day progresses
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