UPDATE: Shooting at LAX
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A suspect possibly armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International today, wounding at least three people and possibly killing a security agent before being shot and taken into custody.
The gunfire erupted around 9:30 a.m. inside the terminal that houses airlines such as Allegiant Air, Frontier, Spirit, Virgin America and JetBlue.
It was unclear how many people were struck by gunfire, although initial reports indicated that at least three people had been wounded, including a Transportation Security Administration agent who was shot in a leg. CBS and NBC News both reported that a TSA agent was killed in the gunfire, but police could not immediately confirm the report.
The conditions of the other victims were not immediately known.
The gunman was wounded and taken into custody. His condition was also unknown. Police reports from the scene indicated a second suspect was arrested near Terminal 2, but that person’s connection to the shooting was unclear.
Century Boulevard was closed off leading into the airport, blocking all traffic into LAX, and motorists were advised to avoid the area. Traffic was at a standstill on streets heading toward the airport. Freeway exits near the airport were also closed.
According to multiple reports, a suspect walked into the terminal and opened fire. CBS News reported that the shooter appeared to be targeting TSA agents at the security checkpoint, and the suspect may have been an off-duty TSA agent.
One witness told the Los Angeles Times that a young white male was walking calmly through the terminal firing a rifle-type weapon, which some media outlets reported was an AR-15 assault rifle. Another witness told KNX radio that people began scrambling to evacuate the terminal when the shots rang out. She said some people were directed out through emergency exits onto the tarmac until they were picked up by buses and taken to another terminal.
Terminal 3 was evacuated, and police were continuing to search the terminal to ensure there were no other suspects or additional victims, according to LAPD Officer Gregory Baek. Scores of law enforcement officers were at the airport, and the LAPD was placed on a citywide tactical alert. Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck arrived at the airport around 10:30 a.m.
Paramedics set up a triage area outside the terminal to treat the wounded.
A ground stop was issued for the airport, meaning planes around the country bound for LAX were being held on the ground.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that police were investigating some suspicious packages found at the airport in the wake of the shooting, possibly including a box of ammunition.