Shooting At LAX - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Shooting At LAX

Posted: Updated:

(NBC) -- A man pulled an assault rifle from a bag and shot his way through security at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, killing one Transportation Security Administration worker, wounding as many as three others and sending terrified travelers diving for cover and fleeing onto the tarmac, authorities and witnesses said.

The gunman was shot by law enforcement and taken into custody.

The shooting started at about 9:20 a.m. local time at Terminal 3. The gunman took out the rifle and opened fire at the security checkpoint, then went far into the terminal, where he was captured after exchanging fire with law enforcement, authorities said.

When the gunfire erupted, travelers who were waiting to snake through the security line suddenly had to abandon their suitcases and hit the ground.

"We were just standing there in line and somebody started shooting," said Nick Pugh, a witness, who told NBC Los Angeles that he heard eight to 10 shots. "Everyone dropped to the floor and started crawling along the ground."
LAX Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon describes a gunman opening fire in the terminal, then approaching and firing at TSA screeners, before continuing into the airport, where he engaged in gunfire with officers and eventually taken into custody.

The shooting brought one of the nation's busiest airports to a standstill. The Federal Aviation Administration grounded flights at LAX, where 1,500 flights take off and land every day. Passengers heading there for departing flights were stuck in colossal traffic jams. Some abandoned their rides and rolled their suitcases the last distance to the airport.

Federal officials, citing initial information, told NBC News that the suspect was a U.S. citizen in his early 20s. A witness, Leon Saryan, told MSNBC that he was cowering in a corner when the gunman approached him and asked: "TSA?" Saryan said he was wearing street clothes, and "he could see I didn't have a uniform."

"He was calm. He was walking slowly," Saryan said. "He must have felt that he was in control, because he had his weapon and nobody else did at that time."

"But for the grace of God I would have been one of the fatalities," he said.

The airport said that seven people were injured in all, but the nature of the injuries was not clear. UCLA Medical Center said it had one patient in critical condition and two in fair condition. One of the TSA workers was shot in the leg, said Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration.

Brian Adamick, an accountant who was waiting for a flight to Chicago, said he saw a bunch of people running and one of them shouted, "There's shooting!"

He said he boarded an evacuation bus minutes later and saw a TSA agent get on, limping.

"His right ankle is injured and he gets on and sits in the seat next to me, and I said, ‘Are you OK?' He said, ‘I'm fine. I got shot. Don't worry, I've been shot before,'" Adamick told NBC News in a telephone interview.

"I said, let me take a look, and he pulls up the pant leg and there's a flesh wound — 3 to 4 inches — looks like it's straight out of Hollywood, maybe a drop of blood or two," he said.

Federal officials told NBC News that it was unclear whether the gunman was targeting the TSA or was trying to shoot his way through to get further into the airport. The gunman was in critical condition, officials said.

Terminal 3 serves Virgin America, among other airlines.

Another witness told MSNBC that there was an initial round of shots, then a pause, then more shots. An airline worker told them, "Go out! Go out!" the witness said. People streamed down the stairs and onto the tarmac for safety, he said.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the shooting, the White House said in a statement.

In 2002, an Egyptian national opened fire at the El Al ticket counter at LAX, killing two Israelis before he was shot dead. Authorities ruled it a terrorist incident, even though the shooter was not tied to a known group.

  • Latest NewsMore>>

  • Facebook Post Leads Local Man Who Found Bracelet to Soldier Who Lost it Two Years Ago

    Facebook Post Leads Local Man Who Found Bracelet to Soldier Who Lost it Two Years Ago

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:13 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:13:21 GMT
    (KCEN) -- Call it a miracle, call it coincidence -- whatever you call it, it's an amazing story. A local man found a bracelet over the weekend memorializing two soldiers killed in action. A little legwork, and the bracelet that went missing two years ago is now on its way back to its owner, more than 1,200 miles away.More >>
    (KCEN) -- Call it a miracle, call it coincidence -- whatever you call it, it's an amazing story. A local man found a bracelet over the weekend memorializing two soldiers killed in action. A little legwork, and the bracelet that went missing two years ago is now on its way back to its owner, more than 1,200 miles away.
    More >>
  • Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange Cleared in Lawsuit

    Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange Cleared in Lawsuit

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:13 GMT
    (BELL COUNTY) -- A judge ruled in favor of Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange in a lawsuit that claimed he violated the first amendment rights of two of his deputies.The suit was filled in 2013 by former Bell Co. Sheriff's Deputies Charles Grogan and Mary Farley.In the lawsuit, they claimed Sheriff Lange demoted them because they supported his political opponent in the republican primary.KCEN-HD's Emily Collins obtained the lawsuit Friday afternoon. We will continue to update this story.More >>
    (BELL COUNTY) -- A judge ruled in favor of Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange in a lawsuit that claimed he violated the first amendment rights of two of his deputies.The suit was filled in 2013 by former Bell Co. Sheriff's Deputies Charles Grogan and Mary Farley.In the lawsuit, they claimed Sheriff Lange demoted them because they supported his political opponent in the republican primary.KCEN-HD's Emily Collins obtained the lawsuit Friday afternoon. We will continue to update this story.More >>
  • Ft. Hood Soldiers Help Finish Little Boy's 'Make a Wish'

    Ft. Hood Soldiers Help Finish Little Boy's 'Make a Wish'

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-25 23:01:18 GMT
    Ft. Hood soldiers help finish Antonio's greenhouseFt. Hood soldiers help finish Antonio's greenhouse
    (KCEN) – Even the toughest of soldiers cry once in a while, and get misty eyed when emotions get the best of them. Friday was one of those times. Around 10a.m. about 30 soldiers made their way to the Laguna’s home in Kempner, TX. Their mission: helping Make a Wish put the final touches on a little boy’s dream. “It’s what we do,” Sergeant Paulus Smallwood said. “If someone needs help we will go out and help them.” But it wasn’t just anyone. They were helping a fellow brother, Frank Laguna, wh...More >>
    (KCEN) – Even the toughest of soldiers cry once in a while, and get misty eyed when emotions get the best of them. Friday was one of those times. Around 10a.m. about 30 soldiers made their way to the Laguna’s home in Kempner, TX. Their mission: helping Make a Wish put the final touches on a little boy’s dream. “It’s what we do,” Sergeant Paulus Smallwood said. “If someone needs help we will go out and help them.” But it wasn’t just anyone. They were helping a fellow brother, Frank Laguna, wh...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KCEN. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.