Active Shooter Report Delays Flights, Spreads Alarm at LAX

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Reports of an active shooter caused a sense of chaos at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday night, bringing travel to a halt and causing delays to pile up into Monday morning.

Passengers breached security doors and spilled out onto the airport tarmac at around 9 p.m. after word of a shooting threat spread.

Fortunately, the report turned out to be a false alarm, but it caused 281 delays, two cancellations, and 27 flight diversions, according to LAX, which also said that one person was injured from getting trampled.

"Due to initial reports of an active shooter in Terminal eight at LAX, passengers in several LAX terminals self-evacuated onto the tarmac and rushed through federal security screening without being properly screened," the airport explained in a statement.

In a somewhat surreal twist, an individual in a Zorro costume was detained by airport police.

Police told ABC News that a man in the Zorro costume was stopped by police. Someone yelled that he had a sword, which turned out to be wooden. Later, reports of an active shooter began to spread throughout the airport, but it remains unclear if those reports were related directly to the man in the costume.

The Los Angeles Police Department evacuated the airport and conducted a search, later confirming there was no evidence of any shooting and that the incident appeared to be a false alarm.

Still, the panic brought the airport's traffic to a halt as the terminals were cleared and incoming flights were partially shut down for 30 minutes.

Dozens of passengers could be seen exiting the airport for their cars or nearby hotels, luggage in tow.

Early Monday, LAX still had arrival delays of about 49 minutes on average and departure delays of 1 hour and 40 minutes, according to FlightAware.com.

The airport said it halted incoming traffic on the south runway complex shortly after 9 p.m. and that arrivals were cleared roughly a half-hour later.

It took about 90 minutes to get the airport terminals cleared for passengers to re-enter the airport.


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