TSA Worker Killed in LAX Shooting
LOS ANGELES--A gunman opened fire Friday morning at a security checkpoint inside Los Angeles International Airport,
killing one federal officer with the Transportation Security Administration, and shooting his way past security into a
terminal packed with travelers.
Law enforcement officials said seven people were injured, and six were taken to local hospitals. Four of the injured
were TSA employees, officials said.
At least two of the TSA employees were shot, including the employee who died, the official said, but it wasn't
immediately clear how the other two were injured. Two TSA employees were hospitalized with non-life-threatening
conditions, and a third wasn't hospitalized, the official said.
After a shootout with airport police in the terminal, the suspected gunman was subdued. The suspect is in custody and
hospitalized, one federal official said.
Law enforcement officials said the suspected shooter used an assault rifle.
Police converged on the airport, closing off many roads, as passengers scrambled to evacuate. The shooting briefly
halted airport operations, and was expected to slow take-offs and landings for at least a few hours Friday.
At a press conference Friday morning, law enforcement officials said they believed the suspected shooter had acted
alone, but were continuing to search the airport.
"We believe this is a static situation now and a safe one for those in the airport," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric
Garcetti at a press conference at the airport, one of the nation's busiest.
Airport officials encouraged travelers to stay away from the airport, however, since operations would be slowed and
Terminal 3, which houses Virgin America airline, would be closed indefinitely for an investigation.
The suspected shooter, whose identity wasn't revealed by law enforcement officials, opened fire just outside the
security checkpoint in Terminal 3 around 9:20 Friday morning, officials said. "He continued to shoot past screeners,"
and into the terminal, said Patrick Gannon, chief of the airport police.
Airport police officers "tracked" the shooter "through the airport and engaged him" in gunfire, Mr. Gannon said. "He
got pretty far back" into the terminal, Mr. Gannon said, making it as far as a Burger King restaurant deep inside the
"A large amount of chaos took place," he said.
One witness told a local television station that he heard "80 or 100 shots" and said passengers in the terminal left
behind bags and belongings while rushing to get out of the area.
Airport police, who had trained for exactly such an event only weeks earlier, took the shooter into custody.
Three wounded men were taken to UCLA hospital, two with gunshot wounds. One of the men was listed in critical
condition, the other two were listed in fair condition, according to a spokeswoman for the hospital.
It was unclear if one of the injured men being treated at the hospital was the suspected shooter.
At the airport, passengers struggled to make alternate plans, or waited on tarmacs to exit their airplanes.
Susan Anderson was planning to meet her sister, Cathy McGuire, at LAX Friday morning. Ms. McGuire was flying in on
Southwest Airlines from Sacramento, and the sisters were planning to fly together to Austin, Texas, for the weekend to
help Ms. McGuire's daughter select her wedding dress.
At around 10 a.m., Ms. Anderson was en route to the airport, being driven by a friend, when "police and unmarked
vehicles swarmed down Century Boulevard," a main road that leads to the airport. "I looked up," she said, and
helicopters were "making a perimeter in the sky."
By 11:30 a.m., Ms. Anderson was waiting on a bus bench with several other stranded travelers outside the airport
Radisson hotel. She received a text message from Southwest Airlines saying her flight to Austin had been canceled. Her
sister, Ms. McGuire, was sitting on her plane on the tarmac, having arrived in Los Angeles about 45 minutes earlier.
"Everybody's calm," she said, speaking on her cellphone, adding that she wasn't worried about missing her connection
to Texas. "We'll get there eventually," she said.
The airport has had several security breaches in the last few weeks, with two dry-ice bombs going off in an employee
bathroom and on the tarmac recently. There was no indication the incidents were related.
-Andy Pasztor, Jon Ostrower and Ethan Smith contributed to this article.
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