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Gunman at Los Angeles International Airport

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Gunman shot dead after killing 1 at Los Angeles airport
July 4, 2002 Posted: 3:48 PM EDT (1948 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A gunman opened fire Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport near the ticket counter of Israel's El Al Airlines, officials said, killing one person and wounding at least two others before airline security personnel shot him dead.

"At this time, there's no reason to believe the incident is terrorist-related," said Lt. Horace Frank, an LAPD spokesman. Information is still sketchy and the investigation is still in its earliest stages, he said.

The Tom Bradley International Terminal was shut down, said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Alex Baez. Everyone inside was evacuated. Thousands were seen streaming out of the terminal and traffic was stopped outside.

Police cars, ambulances, and fire engines lined the road.

Frank said 911 operators received the first call at approximately 11:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. EDT), saying a suspect opened fire on an individual near the El Al counter. The suspect in turn was killed by El Al security personnel, but other "innocent bystanders" were shot and some were seriously wounded.

Thad Weimlein, who was checking into his flight on Korean Air, heard an initial barrage of between eight and 10 shots, before it paused. Then the firing resumed, he said.

"People were running and screaming and hitting the floor," Weimlein said. "There were a number of plainclothes policemen who pulled out their guns and badges at the same time."

After it was over, officers asked everyone in the area of the international ticket counters to file outside, he said.
post #2 of 7
OMG!!! That would have been terrifying!!!!! It is amazing he only killed one person! I just don't understand what makes people do these things??????
post #3 of 7
I'm glad the gunman was stopped before he could take anymore lives but at the same time taking one is too many.
post #4 of 7
How awful!! Its scary to think there are actually people out there like this guy!!
You know (its not the same, but kinda related) last year we went on holiday to the Dominican Republic... at their airport the guards and security men were just ambling along carrying huge machine guns, just swinging them around on their finger.....it kinda freaked me out to see it all done so casually you know?? I mean over here, you NEVER see a gun!! Let alone a machine gun being swung about like a toy!!
post #5 of 7
On the news, this morning, they ID'd the guy. He's a 41-year-old legal immigrant from Egypt. He works as a limo driver. Motive is, still, unknown. US authorities are reluctant to call it a terrorist attack, until the investigation is farther along. The Israeli Foreign Minister and Consul General, however, are adamant that it is. I think they are jumping to a conclusion, much too quickly.

This doesn't seen to fit the usual mode of operation, for a terrorist attack. One man with a handgun doesn't sound like it. Usually, terrorists want to take out as many people as possible and cause a lot of destruction. Looks like this guy was, probably, a lone nut.

Next question: HOW did he get as far as the ticket counter, in the International Terminal with gun? Just how tight IS the security at LAX?
post #6 of 7
I agree that calling it "terrorism" is a bit preliminary at this point. Like hubby said last night, if an Arab pees on Israeli soil its a terrorist act. I think he was, as Cindy so eloquently put it, a lone nut.

If LAX is anything like DIA, there isn't much of any security until you want to go to the actual terminal. They've done a decent job of making sure nothing gets on the actual planes, but you can still bring anything into the airport itself.
post #7 of 7
I just saw the gunman's father, on MSNBC. He says that he's "not surprised" that this happened. In the next breath, though, he says that his son is "Not responsible" for this act. Now, which is it?
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