BREAKING: Unknown gunman kilss two at El Al Air ticket counter at LAX. Gunman killed.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread
Two dead in L.A. airport shooting Gunman opens fire at El Al airline ticket counter
MSNBC STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
LOS ANGELES, July 4 — Gunfire erupted Thursday at the ticket counter of Israel’s El Al airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport, killing two people, police said.
A LOS ANGELES police spokesman said someone opened fire and killed another individual near a ticket counter, then shot several other people before the gunman was killed by security personnel.
News of the shooting came as U.S. cities were on high alert for possible attacks as Americans celebrated Independence Day. After the shooting much of the airport was closed off and television images from the airport showed hundreds of people being evacuated from the terminal. Five ambulances were sent to the airport, and several victims were receiving medical attention, LAPD spokesman Lt. Horace Frank told MSNBC. Los Angeles police said the information they had was preliminary and sketchy. The office of California Gov. Gray Davis reported the shootings occurred near the ticket counter of El Al, the Israeli airline. After the Sept. 11 attacks, El Al was hailed for its tight security.
-- (Paul Revere @ Minuteman.com), July 04, 2002
-- (Patrick Henry @ gimme liberty or.gimme death), July 04, 2002.
Unknown gunman kilss two at El Al Air ticket counter at LAX. Gunman killed.
"kilss"; finally another person who speaks Baktar. Of course, the statement doesn't mean to much with the Baktarian word inserted.
-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), July 04, 2002.
Three Dead in L.A. Airport Shooting Thu Jul 4, 6:18 PM ET
By RYAN PEARSON, Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A gunman opened fire Thursday at Israel's El Al airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport. Three people were killed, including the attacker, who was shot dead by an airline security guard, authorities said.
Three other people were wounded, including an El Al security guard, authorities said. Thousands were evacuated from the international terminal, although the Federal Aviation Administration ( news - web sites) said all domestic arrivals and departures continued to operate normally. Byron Tucker, a spokesman for Gov. Gray Davis ( news - web sites), said one person was arrested, but FBI ( news - web sites) Agent Rich Garcia later refused to comment about that.
The shootout happened with security on high alert around the country for a possible terrorist attack on July Fourth. It sent passengers ducking behind counters and hiding in airport offices.
Mayor James Hahn said there was no immediate indication that shooting was connected to terrorism. "It appears this was an isolated incident," Hahn said. Israel's foreign ministry blamed terrorists, but didn't offer any evidence to support the claim.
The 52-year-old gunman had approached another person at the counter and opened fire shortly before noon, said Alex Baez, a police spokesman. There was no immediate indication of his identity, nationality or motive.
An El Al security guard fatally shot the gunman, police said.
Killed were a 46-year-old man and a woman in her 20s, authorities said. In addition, a 61-year-old woman was shot in the ankle, a 40-year-old man was knifed and a man in his 20s was treated for injuries from a pistol-whipping, authorities said. Details about the knifing were not immediately available. Two others underwent treatment for heart problems, fire officials said.
"Like all Californians, I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn of today's shooting at Los Angeles International Airport," Davis said in a statement. "That it happened on the day on which we honor what America stands for — liberty, security and diversity — makes this particularly more tragic."
"My heart, as well of those of all Californians, aches for the victims of this shooting and their families," he said.
A witness, Thad Weimlein, described an initial flurry of fire, followed by silence, then more gunfire.
In an interview with CNN, Weimlein said he saw plainclothes policemen pulling out their guns and badges at the same time.
At first, "a lot of people thought it was fireworks and a prank," Weimlein said. "It was probably eight to 10 shots. People were hitting the floor."
Vanessa Spinelli was dropping off her aunt for a flight when she heard the gunshots from nearby the El Al counter.
"At first I thought it was firecrackers, said Spinelli, 26, of Los Angeles. "Then everybody started screaming."
"My mom told me this morning to be careful and don't stay at the airport too long because there are warnings out. She was right," Spinelli said.
After the shooting, traffic was stopped on the roadway for departing passengers, but moving steadily along the road serving arrivals. Some 900,000 people had been expected to pass through the airport Thursday.
Fire officials deployed a team to check for hazardous materials.
Greg Warren, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, said the agency will review security procedures to see if something more needs to be done.
El Al, based in Israel, is known as one of the most security-conscious airlines in the world.
"The terrorists deliberately chose the Fourth of July to carry out their crime on the soil of the United States," Israeli foreign ministry spokeswoman Yaffa Ben-Ari said in a statement.
Last year, an Algerian who trained in terrorist camps financed by Osama bin Laden ( news - web sites) was convicted of plotting to blow up the Los Angeles airport at the height of the millennium holiday travel period. Ahmed Ressam had been arrested in Washington state on Dec. 14, 1999, while entering the country from Canada in a car with a trunk full of explosives.
-- ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK! (WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! @ TIME TO PANIC!. HEAD FOR BUNKERS NOW!), July 04, 2002.
An El Al security guard fatally shot the gunman, police said.
Hymies donna mess around. We needs to hire some a dem boyz
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 04, 2002.