Los Angeles International Airport Evacuated After Shots Reportedly Fired

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    LAX_planes_grounded.jpg

    (CNN) — [Breaking news update at 1:20 p.m. Friday]

    A “ground stop” has been issued for planes scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday. A ground stop means flights destined for the affected airport are held at their departure point, according to the FAA.

    [Original story, posted at 1:15 p.m. Friday]

    (CNN) — Parts of Los Angeles International Airport were being evacuated Friday morning after reports of shots being fired there, police said.

    Airport officials said a police incident began about 9:30 a.m. at Terminal 3 at LAX, airport spokeswoman Nancy Suey Castles said.

    Passenger Robert Perez, who was getting ready to fly Virgin Air, was taking a nap in the terminal when panic erupted, he told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS.

    “I heard a popping sound, and everybody was diving for cover,” Perez told the station. “The TSA said there was a shooting in the terminal and evacuate the building.”

    At least 100 people came down a staircase. “Everybody started to panic,” Perez said.

    Fox Sports national columnist Bill Reiter was also at the airport during the gunfire. “After the initial burst of gunfire and hiding, people started jumping over one another, jumping off chairs, pushing each other. Chaos & fear,” he said on his Twitter account.

    The passengers were directed to board a bus and were taken to a smaller terminal, Perez told the affiliate.

    The Los Angeles Fire Department is assisting with a “multi-patient” incident at Los Angeles International Airport, the department said Friday on Twitter.

    Firefighters were laying down tarps on the street at the airport, which appeared to be triage tarps. Several ambulances were at the airport, and at least one person was loaded into an ambulance.

    The area around the airport was jammed with cars as police shut down access to the airport Friday morning.

    CNN’s Casey Wian contributed to this report from LAX.

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