January 06 2017
A gunman opened fire at Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport Friday afternoon, killing at least five people and injuring eight others before being taken into custody, authorities said. More than an hour later, people were seen running across the tarmac and sheltering behind cars while police had their guns drawn.
“I was dodging bullets and trying to help people get out of the way,” an eyewitness, Mark Lea, told NBC News.
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The 53-year-old financial adviser from Minneapolis was in the baggage claim when, he said, a man came in and started shooting.
“At first we thought it was firecrackers,” he said. “Everyone started screaming and running. The shooter made his way down through baggage claim. He had what looked like a 9mm and emptied his entire clip. People were trying to run.”
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said they received a call about the shooting around 12:55 p.m. Live video more than an hour after the attack showed people running across the tarmac between terminals while others took cover behind cars – while officials search for another possible shooter. Police were also seen running into a parking garage with guns drawn.
The shooting occurred at the baggage claim inside Terminal 2. Aerial footage showed a large crowd of people gathered outside on the tarmac.
Police officers responded less than a minute after the shooting began, Lea said. Once the shooter was out of bullets, “he was gunned down by police,” he said.
“It was absolutely surreal,” he said. “People were scared and frantically running to avoid being shot. People were tripping over each other. They were trying to make a fast exit out of the door.”