LAX Briefly Shut Down After Reports Of Unconfirmed Shooter
Los Angeles International Airport on July 2, 2016, with heightened security for the holiday weekend. (Getty)
Just after 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night, LAX was briefly shut down as police responded to reports of an unconfirmed shooter. A number of travelers in the airport called 911 reporting gunshots, according to NBC. Operations restarted a few hours later, after the LAPD determined there were no shots fired. "Report of shooting at LAX proven to be LOUD NOISES only," LAPD public relations officer Andy Neiman tweeted just before 10 p.m. last night. "No shots fired; no injuries. Investigation continues to locate source."
LAX released a statement last night, noting that "passengers in several terminals self-evacuated onto the tarmac and rushed through federal security screening without being properly screened." Airport officials also requested a ground stop on the south runway "due to passengers who self-evacuated from the terminals, ran onto the restricted airfield."
In a seemingly unrelated and earlier incident, a man in a Zorro costume with a plastic sword added to the confusion, and was detained:
Videos and photos showed the chaotic scene from inside and outside of LAX:
Passengers had to be rescreened upon re-entering the airport:
Two weeks ago a similar scenario played out at JFK Airport in New York, where two terminals were evacuated (by airport security) and a ground stop was issued after reports of an active shooter. The noises, however, were not gunshots, but people cheering and clapping for the Olympics.