CHARLOTTE, NC — A man pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and shot his way past a security checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, killing a TSA officer and wounding two other people, authorities said.
A ground stop ordered by the Federal Aviation Administration Friday morning caused a ripple effect at airports across the country, including Charlotte-Douglas. There were a few delayed departures from Charlotte to Los Angeles International Airport.
As for security, both the Transportation Security Administration and Charlotte-Douglas said they will not give specifics, but they have added additional security measures at the airport.
“It was 20 minutes after we got on our plane and out on the runway. Just the idea of it is horrifying,” said Tyler Steinberg, a Mooresville resident.
Steinberg heard about the shooting at LAX while in the air, headed from L.A. to Charlotte.
“It was three terminals over from the terminal that we got on, and it could have been anybody,” said Steinberg.
On the ground in the Queen City, travelers like L.A. resident Ligia Selim noticed added police and TSA presence throughout the airport.
“I’m really scared and I can see that TSA is on alert, we’re all frightened,” said Selim.
“It’s scary because you never know in spite of all the security and everything that’s already in place in the airport,” said Judy Markell, a Greenwood, SC resident.
Some passengers worry TSA agents don’t have enough training and support on the job.
“I don’t know how the pay is, maybe it’s not enough. Maybe the training is not extensive enough. Someone at the top has got to crack the whip,” said Ryan Cutrona, a Los Angeles resident.
There is also concern from travelers who will fly back to LAX this weekend.
“He wasn’t trying to shoot any passengers, it was just the TSA. But I’m flying back to L.A. in a couple of days, and I sure hope that it’s going to be open,” said Selim.