‘Accidental’ gun discharge sends travellers fleeing.
Rumours of an active shooter at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport left travellers in a panic when a gun was accidentally fired in the security screening area.
The incident occurred when a screening checkpoint employee was conducting a bag search after it was flagged by an x-ray.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said the gun owner was advised not to touch the bag.
However, as the security officer opened the compartment containing the gun, “the passenger lunged into the bag and grabbed a firearm, at which point it discharged”.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said the passenger then ran away with the gun and escaped out an airport exit.
Three people suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the ensuing panic.
Bruh this is going on right now at the Atlanta airport!!! pic.twitter.com/fA3QwszuRn
— JamariJonesATL (@JamariJones_ATL) November 20, 2021
Police said later they had issued a warrant for the arrest of the convicted felon, 42-year-old Kenny Wells, who is still at large.
“We are actively pursuing this individual as we speak,” Moorman said at a news briefing Saturday evening with TSA and airport officials.
In a tweet, the airport said: “At approximately 1:30 pm today a weapon accidently discharged at ATL’s security screening area. There is NOT an active shooter at the airport.”
“APD is on the scene. More information about the situation will be made available on our social media channels.”
Although the FAA ordered a temporary ground stop, operations never ceased and the airport did not close, according to airport officials.
The TSA said it has stopped 4,495 passengers from carrying firearms on to their flights by October of this year – surpassing the previous record of 4,432 firearms caught at checkpoints in all of 2019.