Shooting at Terminal 3 Security Checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport
Update: 5pm EST: The latest findings report that the gunman is not a TSA employee, and may have been a ticketed passenger harboring anti-government feelings, who targeted the TSA staff. As for airport operations, LAX is still under a ground stop and all travelers with tickets into/out of LAX are encouraged to check with their airlines and consider alternate dates of travel, or routing through other airports. Bottom line: be flexible and be patient.
Update: 3:30pm EST: Virgin America has issued a statement confirming the events of this morning and expressing their concern for passengers. It has now been clarified that the suspect is in custody and is in critical condition, but alive. Vehicles heading to LAX (if they make it there) and to other LA-area airports should expect to be fully searched. JetBlue's flights to LAX will instead fly to Long Beach (LGB),
Update: 2:20pm EST: The gunman was an off-duty TSA agent. He has been killed my law enforcement, and is not simply in custody as earlier thought, according to NBC News.
Update: 1:55pm EST: It being reported that the police are confirming one death, a TSA agent shot and killed. Another TSA agent was shot and wounded, and has been transported to the hospital.
All LAX terminals are being evacuated (with no definite destination for the evacuated passengers). The 105 and 405 freeway ramps leading into LAX are closed. LAX is on a ground stop, with no flights departing and all arriving flights being held on the tarmac.
The weapon is rumored to be an AR-15 rifle.
BREAKING 1:15pm EST: There have been gunshots at LAX Airport, with a few people injured and a gunman in custody.
Facts are still fuzzy. According to the AP, "Witness Brian Keech said he heard "about a dozen gunshots." Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said emergency crews have responded to a multi-patient incident. The incident was reported after 9:30 a.m. PST"
Below: an Instagram Video showing that some travelers at LAX were informed that there was a shooting.
There's still confusion on whether this shooting happened before or after security, although there's word that the gunman is a possible passenger who was attempting to proceed through the security check at Terminal 3. Terminal 3 operates mostly domestic flights (Virgin America, AirTran, Alaska, Horizon, JetBlue).
Emergency procedures are currently in place at LAX, including the evacuation of terminals and a likely ground stop. This will likely be lifted once the crime scene is isolated and security measures have been taken to clear the post-security area and resume semi-normal operations.
Please check with your airline if you're scheduled to fly into or out of Los Angeles International Airport today. Other flights around the country, where arriving aircraft are coming from LAX, may also be delayed. Also expect other LA-area airports to increase security today and through the weekend.
As it stands, the best live coverage to watch is that of NBC Los Angeles.
[Photo: NBC live screenshot]