US AUTHORITIES SAY a suspect is in custody after opening fire at the Los Angeles International Airport and injuring multiple people.
A TSA agent is reported to have been killed and two others injured during the shooting at the busy airport this evening.
The suspect has been named as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, a Los Angeles resident. The man’s father said he had, before the shooting, asked for help from police in locating his son because he was worried about his mental state.
Police stand on high alert at Terminal 2 at Los Angeles International Airport. Pic: Reed Saxon/AP/Press Association Images
Patrick Gannon, chief of Los Angeles airport police, said the gunman entered the terminal, pulled an assault rifle from a bag and began shooting at a screening checkpoint before entering the terminal. Officers took him into custody after a shootout.
“As you can imagine, a large amount of chaos took place in this entire incident,” he said.
Gannon said that a lone shooter approached a TSA agent who was checking passenger documents, and opened fire.
Interim Los Angeles Fire Chief Jim Featherstone said paramedics treated seven people at the scene, and six were taken to hospitals.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says urges public to stay away from the airport for the time being.
Evacuated passengers were loaded onto buses by the dozens, while others decided to walk off the airport grounds.
Pic: AP/Press Association Images
Los Angeles police Officer Norma Eisenman said officers responded to the incident Friday which occurred at 9.30am, 4.30pm Irish time.
Multiple people were hit by gunfire, she says but their condition is unknown.
She said the suspect exchanged fire with airport police and was taken into custody. The airport is being swept for precautionary measures and the bomb unit is on scene.
Responding crews were outside Terminal 3 at LAX, the second busiest airport in the US and the sixth busiest in the world.
Pic: AP Photo/Reed Saxon
The LAPD confirmed that they were on “tactical alert” for the whole city due to a “major incident”, but this was scaled down to cover just the area that the airport is in.
Cars are being stopped on their way in and out of the airport.
Witness Brian Keech said he heard “about a dozen gunshots” from inside the security gate at Terminal 3.
Arrivals and departures at the airport have been closed at the airport, disrupting travel nationwide.
The airport was the scene of the killing of two people in a 2002 shooting.
More to follow.
- Additional reporting AP
– Additional reporting Aoife Barry