November 1st, 2013
03:56 PM ET

Suspect shot, in custody after TSA agent killed at LAX, sources say

The Los Angeles Police Department is responding to a report that a Transportation Security Administration agent was shot at Los Angeles International Airport. A suspect is now in custody, according to a source, and the fire department reports that seven people were injured. Here are the latest details:

[Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET] TSA Administrator John S. Pistole issued a statement: "I am deeply saddened to inform you that a TSA employee was shot and killed today while on duty at Los Angeles International Airport. Other TSA employees also were injured in the shooting. ... Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been injured and their loved ones."

[Updated at 3:56 p.m. ET] The shooter is not a current or former TSA officer, a federal source and an intelligence source briefed by the LAPD say.

[Updated at 3:53 p.m. ET] The Transportation Security Administration seized 1,556 guns last year at airports around the country, almost double the 2007 total. Through September, the agency has seized 1,343 guns.

This week 29 firearms, 27 of them loaded, were discovered at TSA checkpoints, according to a TSA blog.

[Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET] Based on September traffic totals from LAX, it's estimated that about 177,000 passengers pass through the airport each day.

[Updated at 3:48 p.m. ET] Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has admitted three males from the LAX shooting. One is in critical condition and two are in fair condition, said medical director Lynne McCullough.

She said the wounds were from "gunshot and other injuries as well," she said.

[Updated at 3:32 p.m. ET] An intelligence officer briefed by Los Angeles police tells CNN that the suspect in the LAX shooting was shot multiple times in the chest, "center mass."

[Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET] Nick Pugh told CNN affiliate KTLA he was momentarily handcuffed by police during the chaos following the LAX shooting.

Pugh was standing near the Virgin America Airlines check-in counter when he heard the gunshots.

“Somebody started shooting and everyone dropped to the ground and started crawling,” Pugh told KTLA.

“It was definitely chaos… It was crazy,” Pugh said. “I just saw an emergency exit and ran.”

Police initially handcuffed Pugh, thinking he might be the gunman, he said, but they let him go quickly.

[Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET] Almost every flight out of Los Angeles International Airport will be "significantly late," according to Gina Marie Lindsay, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports.

The airport is still accepting incoming flights, but doing so at less than half the normal rate, she said.

[Updated at 3:06 p.m. ET] "This individual was shooting as he went into the terminal," and police in the airport "didn't hesitate" to confront the suspect, said Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon. He called officers' actions "heroic."

He further said that officers three weeks ago "practiced the exact scenario that played out today" during a training exercise.

[Updated at 3:03 p.m. ET] There were seven people injured, six of whom were transported to area hospitals, said acting Los Angeles Fire Chief James Featherstone.

[Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET] Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says he will not discuss the nature of the injuries or the identification of the suspect. The FBI is handling the investigation, he said.

[Updated at 2:57 p.m. ET] Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said there are "multiple" victims in addition to the suspect.

[Updated at 2:56 p.m. ET] Airport police tracked the suspect through the airport and "engaged him in gunfire in Terminal 3" before taking him into custody, Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said, adding there was only one shooter.

[Updated at 2:53 p.m. ET] The gunman had multiple clips for his assault rifle, according to a former LAPD officer, who said one TSA agent was fatally shot and another agent was shot in the leg.

Police are looking for the shooter's car in the parking lot, the former officer said.

[Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET] CNN now has two sources - an intelligence source briefed by Los Angeles police and a federal source - both of whom confirm the TSA agent was killed

[Updated at 2:41 p.m. ET] A federal source briefed by the LAPD confirmed that a TSA officer was killed in the shooting at LAX. The source cautioned that information from the scene is still preliminary.

[Updated at 2:33 p.m. ET] A local hospital released the following statement: "Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center received three male victims from the LAX Airport shootings. One arrived in critical condition and two are listed in fair condition."

We currently have enough blood for the situation at hand.  The hospital would appreciate it if members of the community would like to call in early next week to replenish the supply."

[Updated at 2:17 p.m. ET]  A former LAPD ranking officer provided further details of the shooting, saying the gunman approached the security checkpoint, pulled out a concealed assault rifle and shot a TSA agent before walking through the checkpoint.

It was then a police officer opened fire, wounding the gunman, the source says.

[Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET] A witness describes the popping noises and screams he heard during the incident.

[Updated at 2:12 p.m. ET] American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr.  issued a statement saying the union was "sickened" by news of the shooting.

"Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers and Transportation Security Officers killed or injured in this heinous act. Thank you to all of our brave TSOs who put their lives on the line every day to keep the flying public safe," he said.

CNN has not yet verified the condition of the TSA agent.

[Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET] "There was a guy downstairs who started shooting. One guy fell down. Panic erupted,” a witness who gave his name as Alex told CNN affiliate KTLA.

The shooter appeared to have a rifle, Alex said.

[Updated at 2:01 p.m. ET] Two people were shot - one of them a TSA agent , the other the gunman, and both have been transported to local hospitals, according to a law enforcement source.

Ten shots were fired, the source said. There were roughly 100 witnesses, all of whom are being interviewed.

[Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET] The Los Angeles International Airport has confirmed, on its Twitter account, that a suspect is in custody.

The airport's post also said there are "multiple victims." Earlier, a law enforcement source close to the investigation told CNN that a suspect was shot and is in police custody.

[Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama has been briefed on the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport and will continue to be updated, but the White House had no further information at this time on what happened, spokesman Jay Carney said.

[Updated at 1:53 p.m. ET] Eyewitness Chuck Ocheret says he was at Terminal 3’s gate 30 near a food court. He thinks the gate is close to the checkpoint where the shooting happened.

“I was actually at Gate 30, just walking towards the food court. … I heard a couple of popping noises. I (turned) to look. ... There was a stampede of people coming my way and I realized something was … wrong.”

“People were screaming, ‘Run into the bathroom, get behind something,’ ” he said.

He picked up his carry-on bags, ran down a corridor, came upon the point-of-no return spot (where if you leave, you can’t get back without going through security again). The guard there didn’t appear to immediately know what was going on because he was telling people they couldn't return if they left.

Police then came and told everybody to get down on the floor. They then told everyone to go outside, and police eventually escorted them to the international terminal.

[Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET] The number of people injured is still unclear.

[Updated at 1:48 p.m ET] Kari Watson Told CNN affiliate KABC she was at LAX Terminal 3 with her 3-year-old daughter moments before gunshots rang out.

"All of a sudden we heard people screaming, 'Go, go, go!' and I heard a couple of pops that sounded like gunfire," she said. "People were just running, so we left everything on the ground and we took off."

[Updated at 1:46 p.m. ET] Witness Alex Neumann was at a food court, waiting to travel to Miami, when the incident unfolded. He said Terminal 2 was put into lockdown.

"People were running and people getting knocked down. There was luggage everywhere," Neumann told CNN. "Mayhem is the best I can describe it."

Several police officers moved about the airport with guns drawn, he said.

[Updated at 1:43 p.m. ET] A witness describes the scene after the shooting.

[Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET] A suspect has been shot and is in police custody after a shooting at Los Angeles International Airport, a law enforcement source close to the investigation tells CNN.

[Updated at 1:39 p.m. ET] There is a local media report that a large box of ammunition was found at the scene.

[Updated at 1:37 p.m. ET] "The City of Los Angeles is on Tactical Alert due to a major incident occurring at LAX," police tweeted.

[Updated at 1:34 p.m. ET] A former Los Angeles Police Department ranking officer tells CNN a shooter approached the checkpoint and shot a Transportation Security Administration agent.

Multiple shots from a rifle were fired in quick succession, and it's not clear whether the shooter breached the security checkpoint, the source said.

[Updated at 1:33 p.m. ET] "All upper/departures level roadways are temporarily blocked by law enforcement. General public are being held back at law enforcement block," LAX tweeted.

It later sent another tweet: "Other than arriving flights, flight operations have been temporarily held."

[Updated at 1:23 p.m. ET] Firefighters were laying down tarps on the street at the airport, which appear to be triage tarps. Several ambulances are at the airport, and at least one person was loaded into an ambulance.

The area around the airport was jammed with cars as police shut down access to the airport.

[Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET] A "ground stop" has been issued for planes scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday.

A ground stop means flights destined for the airport are held at their departure point, according to the FAA.

[Updated at 1:18 p.m. ET] The Los Angeles Fire Department says it is assisting with a "multi-patient incident" at the airport.

[Updated at 1:13 p.m. ET] "After the initial burst of gunfire and hiding, people started jumping over one another, jumping off chairs, pushing each other. Chaos & fear," tweeted Bill Reiter of Fox Sports.

[Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET] Passenger Robert Perez, who was getting ready to fly Virgin Air, was taking a nap in the terminal when panic erupted, he told CNN affiliate KCAL/CBS.

"I heard a popping sound, and everybody was diving for cover," Perez told the station. "The TSA said there was a shooting in the terminal and evacuate the building."

At least 100 people came down a staircase. "Everybody started to panic," Perez said.

The passengers were directed to board a bus and were taken to a smaller terminal, he told the affiliate.

[Posted at 1:06 p.m. ET] Police are responding to an incident at Los Angeles International Airport that began at 12:30 p.m. ET at Terminal 3, the airport said on Twitter.

Police earlier said evacuations are under way at the airport after reports of shots fired there.

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Filed under: California • Crime • Gun violence • Los Angeles • Uncategorized
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Armando Williams

    This sounds like a Terrorist Attack at LAX

    November 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • joanthanL

      it was a terrorist of the disgruntled snapper (he snapped) type. At least he didn't require you to have memorized every verse in the Koran like they did in the African Mall! Here you just had to be not a TSA agent. It was targeted, but IMO still too random to be justified and therefore an act of terror (like a drunk driver speeding is also a terrorist). Not all terrorists are Muslim. There are rare exceptions. I understand everybody wants to kill a gov't worker now and then, a traffic or transit cop etc., but you just can't ignore the law, otherswise we'd just be like the Muslim countries killing each other in large groupls and sawing off each others' heads everyday like they like do. If you are American, try to remember not to snap. We have a high brow, high road reputation to preserve.

      November 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Hamsta


      November 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kosuki

    Watch the suspect wont get medical attention for 6 hours or more...

    November 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. name

    We need a better mental health policy in this country.... banning assault rifles might, lower the death toll in these incidents, but it wouldnt stop them

    November 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • elbeau

      Banning assault rifles will increase the toll. Most definitions of what constitutes an "assault rifle" bans weapons that do kill, but which are less likely to result in death than getting hit by a round from most high-powered hunting rifles like the ones people generally use to hunt deer, etc.. People want to ban scary guns, not deadly guns. There's a reason that serious hunters use higher-powered weapons than survivalists...their goal is to kill what they shoot...not to own the scariest-looking gun with the most flashlights and lasers attached.

      November 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jerry

    Another alleged shooting in a gun free zone. Makes me proud that I protect my family. Support the Second Amendment by supporting sites such as the Gun Rights Attorneys.

    November 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Oliver Grant

    American can count on the Department of Homeland Security to make sure this incident is not classified as terrorism. There has only been one incident of terrorism in the US in 2013, the Boston Marathon. All of the mass murders, school shootings and stabbings and unexplained fertilizer explosions don't count. Oh yeah, Fort Hood didn't count either.

    November 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John

    Surprised this doesn't happen everyday in the u.s.a
    Wake up america!!!!
    2nd amendment is a joke!!!
    Its 2013 wake the **** up!!!!
    How many shootings do you need to change your ways
    Heart goes out to the victims and everyone involved in this terrible incident

    November 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jer

    Oh look another libertarian gun nut terrorist.

    November 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    This tragedy could have been averted had there been even more guns in the crowd. Not.
    There are mass shootings every single day.
    My sympathy to those who were involved in this tragedy.

    November 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Since you seem to have trouble with reading comprehension, please have your mother sound out the harder words for you.
      You, as usual, haven't a clue as to what banasy believes; perhaps because Hannity Rush didn't bother to include it in today's hyperbole of the day.

      November 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. shawn poland

    big pharma again? staged terror to arm tsa? the tsa's own documents admit their security is mainly to terrorize the people, that thre is no real threat. funny cnn has to close its comments on the main story. thanks for showing us you still have no credibility. people will just go elsewhere where they can comment, such as infowars! it make sit bigger every time you do it!

    November 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nralogic

    this would have been avoided had we hadmore guns.

    November 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RDH

    You can listen to this incident live for free on broadcastify. Just search for LAPD police scanner. I hear all these updates as they happened. Thats how they get the news.

    November 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Boinga

    Wouldn't be surprised to find that the agent over stepped his authority or got a little too obnoxious to the wrong passenger.

    November 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CCG

    That is an absolute LIE. The TSA agents that were shot were MEN and TSA agents are ONLY allowed to pat down same-sex pasengers to avoid any issues. Stop trying to incite more violence against TSA agents.

    November 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CCG

    The shooter walked into the terminal shooting....he did not "rub anyone's girlfriend the wrong way". TSA agenst are ONLY allowed to pat down SAME SEX passengers.

    November 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sherry

    These shootings are becoming more frequent and deadlier. We can debate about guns all day and all night and nothing substantive is ever done. The gun fanatics in this country always seem to get their way. I hope the NRA is thrilled with today's killing.

    On the other hand, when-oh-WHEN are we going to talk about the issue of men deciding that someone has to pay in blood when when they're pissed, dissed, frustrated, or – rarely – extreme right-wing ideologues? Huh? Yes, women can be violent – no doubt. But by the numbers, they barely exist statistically – and don't forget that we are over HALF the population! Are we EVER going to open a dialogue about why men turn to violence against others when they can't handle their negative emotions? Talk about how we raise boys and the messages they get from this unique culture as they're growing up? Well, I don't suppose we ever will have that conversation because we would then have to address a whole lot of crap that isn't flattering to ourselves. And God knows we don't do that in America. Look in the mirror? *LOL!* No way!!! It's your fault . . . his fault . . . their fault! NOT MY FAULT!

    November 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
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