A TSA agent was reportedly killed and several people were injured when a gunman–also a TSA agent–opened fire at LAX on Friday morning.
Early reports say that at least three people were wounded in the shooting and that the gunman is also dead, shot by police. Officials say he opened fire with a high-powered rifle at a passenger screening checkpoint, causing mass panic and chaos as people fled or were evacuated to safety. All flights are grounded at the airport, and the L.A.P.D. was on a citywide alert as of this morning.
White House officials said President Obama was briefed about the shooting and is following the investigation as news develops.
“The President has been briefed about the shooting at LAX. We will continue to stay in touch with our federal and local partners. The LAPD is leading the response and investigation. We urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site. The president will continue to receive briefings throughout the day,” an official said in a statement.
“I heard a total of maybe 8 to 10 shots fired in maybe two bursts,” witness Nick Pugh said. “Everyone dropped to the floor and started crawling along the crowd.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti is encouraging people to stay away from LAX today even if they have a scheduled flight, but stresses it is not a safety situation at this point; rather, the airport is now a crime scene, and a big one at that. The airport is accepting incoming flights as of now. Airport officials say it will take quite some time to get things back in smooth working order and are asking all flyers to have patience.
L.A.P.D. Chief Patrick Gannon says that the shooter, who has not been identified yet, acted alone and was taken out by officers during a gunfight. At least one officer was wounded; seven other shooting victims were treated for wounds.