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Suspected LAX shooter in custody; TSA agent dead

LOS ANGELES (RNN) – A shooting at Los Angeles International Airport left several wounded, including the suspected gunman. A TSA agent was killed, according to multiple reports.

The suspect has been taken into police custody. LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon said a lone shooter pulled an assault rifle out of a bag and began to open fire around 9:20 a.m. PT.

Police engaged the suspect and apprehended him.

“This individual was shooting as he went into the terminal,” Gannon said. “The officers did not, I repeat, did not hesitate. Unfortunately, it was an officer-involved shooting.”

He said multiple people were shot, and they had been transported to medical facilities. A total of seven sustained injuries and were treated by EMTs, although they all may not have been hurt by gunfire.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said it was a safe for those still in the airport. Officials would not confirm whether anyone had died or the identity of the suspect. 

Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of LAX, discussed the issue of those awaiting flights.

“It’s going to be a careful orchestrated logistical ballet to get people reprocessed and back on their flights,” she said. “I think it’s fair to say that every flight at LAX will be significantly delayed.”

The FBI will lead the investigation, with LAX police working in support.

UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center reported three men had been brought in with injuries from the incident, CNN said. One of them was critical, the other two were listed in fair condition.

“For precautionary reasons, Terminal 3 and surrounding areas will be swept,” LAPD stated on Facebook.

The fire department called the shooting a “multi-patient incident,” but no more information on how many were injured or the severity of injuries has been officially released.

Photos shared on Twitter show police standing by a rifle on the floor and what appear to be bloodstains nearby.

Actor Tim Daly, who starred on the TV show Wings, was in the terminal when shooting began. He said they were told to be careful not to step on blood or glass as they evacuated.

He was locked in a lounge for about an hour and saw the rifle on the ground outside of gates 35 and 36.

“I think the LAPD has done an outstanding job at keeping people calm and organizing people,” Daly said.

According to CNN, TSA agents were able to wound the shooter. Based on available information, it did not appear the gunman went through or breached any security checkpoints. 

Other people sustained injuries when fleeing the scene.

Leah Osborne, who was through security to take a Virgin America flight to Newark, heard shots and ran down a flight a stairs.

“We hurried down the stairs, and just as we were exiting, they told us to get down,” Osborne told CNN. “The shots were coming from behind us as we ran into the parking structure.”

CBS Los Angeles reported a gunman with a high-powered rifle was shot and secured by law enforcement. Aerial views of the surrounding area showed emergency responders placing people into ambulances.

Bill Reiter, a columnist for Fox Sports, said he was inside the airport when the shooting happened.

“When gunfire broke out there was a stampede of people, all of us hiding under seats we didn’t fit under,” he tweeted. “We burst through the door to outside.”

Multiple people said they had gone out to the tarmac when the shooting began but were moved to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Firefighters said terminals 2 and 3 had been evacuated, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Heard gunshots then everyone started running for the door,” Tory Belleci of MythBusters wrote on Twitter. “Not sure if anyone was hurt.”

Terry Marks-Tarlow gave an interview to radio station KNX. She said she was sitting near the terminal near gate 35 when everyone started to run and panic.

“I had no idea why,” Marks-Tarlow said. “We had to evacuate through the door and down to where the planes are.” 

The FAA is slowly lifted the temporarily ground stop. Flights are landing on the southern landing strip.

A KNX traffic report noted access into LAX had been shut down, and surrounding traffic was backed up for miles. Exits off Interstates 105 and 405 to the airport were closed.

A White House official said the president had been briefed about the shooting, the LA Times reported.

“We will continue to stay in touch with our federal and local partners,” the official said. “The LAPD is leading the response and investigation. We urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site. The president will continue to receive briefings throughout the day.”

AirTran, Alaska, Horizon, JetBlue, Virgin Australia and Virgin America flights operate out of Terminal 3.

The shooting comes after Dicarlo Bennett set off a series of dry ice bombs in Terminal 2 at LAX earlier in October. Bennett, 28, was a ground service worker and was charged with felony counts of suspicion of possessing and exploding a destructive device.

More than 61 million people traveled through LAX in 2012 and 2.1 million tons of goods – 50 percent of which is international freight, according to the LAX website.

The LAX was originally a general aviation field, founded in 1928. Military flights used the airfield during World War II, and commercial flights began in 1946.

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