LA police: LAX shooter reports unfounded; terminals cleared

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Operations restarted Monday morning at Los Angeles International Airport after terminals were cleared while police investigated reports of shots being fired, authorities said.

Los Angeles police said they determined no shots were fired and no one was injured. Passengers are being rescreened for security and are re-entering the terminal buildings.

Sunday night’s shutdown in Los Angeles closely mirrored a situation at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport two weeks ago when reports of shots inside Terminal 8 shut down that airport.

At the Los Angeles airport, the police action and a ground stop ordered by the Federal Aviation Administration caused airlines to divert 23 flights, including four international ones, to other airports.

Twelve of those flights were diverted to Ontario International Airport. At least 68 arriving flights to the Los Angeles airport were reported delayed, although none were reported canceled.

“Report of shooting at LAX proven to be LOUD NOISES only. No shots fired; no injuries. Investigation continues to locate source,” Andy Neiman, commanding officer of Los Angeles police media relations, said in a tweet.

The official airport Twitter account also posted that airport police had detained a Zorro-costumed individual. It was unclear if the two incidents were related.

Initial reports of an active shooter in Terminal 8 meant that “passengers in several LAX terminals self-evacuated onto the tarmac and rushed through federal security screening without being properly screened,” an airport statement said.

The FAA issued a ground stop due to a security situation, according to its website. The ground stop lasted 30 minutes and was lifted at 1 a.m. ET.

No vehicles are being allowed into the Central Terminal Area, but vehicles are being allowed to leave the restricted area. Traffic congestion around the Central Terminal Area continued through the night as a result of access restrictions.

In the New York incident this month, two people reported hearing what they thought were shots fired, law enforcement sources said then. Police went floor to floor to clear the airport and ensure there was nothing to be found, a source said. Surveillance video from inside the terminal did not show any shooting.

Police from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey evacuated the terminal to be cautious, spokesman Joe Pentangelo said.

There were no injuries or arrests, although officials said it’s possible that hoax 911 calls and word of mouth led to the panic.

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