Day after shooting, all terminals reopen as LAX works to get back to normal
POSTED: Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 6:04pm
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Los Angeles International Airport completed the reopening of all its terminals early Saturday afternoon, when business finally resumed at the terminal where a TSA officer was fatally shot a day earlier.
"Terminal 3 is now fully reopened and operational," Gina Marie Lindsey, head of Los Angeles World Airports, said around 1:10 p.m. (4:10 p.m. ET) Saturday. That's the terminal where a gunman shot three TSA officers Friday morning, killing one of them, before being shot himself and taken into custody.
Throughout Saturday morning, LAX struggled with flight delays, but authorities were able to allow passengers to retrieve their possessions that had been abandoned during Friday's emergency evacuation.
Uniformed and undercover police will continue a high security posture "for the foreseeable future," said Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon.
The FBI was still working the shooting scene Saturday inside Terminal 3, and its flights had been assigned to other terminals during the morning, airport officials said.
Meanwhile, the airport entrance's 100-foot pylons "will light the night blue through Sunday in honor of fallen TSA Officer (Gerardo) Hernandez," airport officials said on its Twitter account.
By late Saturday morning, all of LAX's roadways were open.
In all, the violence affected an estimated 1,550 scheduled flights with about 167,050 passengers from the start of the incident around 9:30 a.m. Friday through midnight, airport officials said.
Those totals consist of 826 scheduled departure flights with an estimated 99,200 passengers and 724 arrival flights with 67,850 passengers.
"Please contact ur airline for flight status before coming to LAX," the airport said on Twitter. "Thank you to law enforcement, airlines, agencies & traveling public for your teamwork & patience as we return your LAX to normal operations."
The Federal Aviation Administration announced it ordered a ground stop that ended at 3 p.m. PT (6 p.m. ET). It applied to LAX-bound flights that were departing from airports in the western United States; those aircraft were held at their departure airports, the FAA said in a statement.
On Friday morning, about 9:20 a.m. PT (12:20 p.m. ET), a gunman opened fire at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint. One TSA officer was killed and two others were injured.
By Friday afternoon, the airport was letting employees back into Terminals 1 and 2, said Lindsey, the airport's executive director.
There was "no time frame" of when the FBI will complete its investigation in Terminal 3, the airport said.
Passengers expecting to fly out of Terminal 3 should contact their airlines for more information, Lindsey said.
Many travelers took the delays in stride. Some stuck in airplanes at LAX took to Twitter to document their delays, but the tone was largely respectful.
"First time I have been to LA in years and have been on Tarmac for 2 hrs due to Lax shooting. Prayers go out to all victims," wrote @joeycorrado.