Car crash, 'prank' call at LAX send passengers fleeing terminals - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Car crash, 'prank' call at LAX send passengers fleeing terminals

  • LAX has been on edge since a TSA officer was killed three weeks ago
  • The latest incidents occurred at terminals 5 and 4
  • There was no real threat, official says

By Faith Karimi and Ben Brumfield

Panic ensued at LAX when a woman lost control of her car near one terminal, and a crank caller reported a gunman in another Friday night, authorities said.

The two incidents occurred at terminals 5 and 4, respectively, at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Passengers fled terminal 5, spooked by the banging sound of an SUV crashing outside the terminal.

"A driver had a medical emergency, causing her to lose control of the vehicle," said Patrick M. Gannon, the airport police chief. "She has been transported to a local hospital."

There was no real threat, he said. The driver is in good condition at a local hospital.

Almost simultaneously, a call was placed in dispatch -- "probably a prank" -- saying there was a man with a gun in terminal 4, Gannon said.

Officers evacuated the area and stormed in, guns drawn.

"Get down, get down," officers shouted as crowds hovered behind walls.

Police searched the terminal, then declared it safe.

"We did not find anybody there with a gun. In an overabundance of caution, we evacuated terminal 4," Gannon said. "We had great cooperation with our passengers."

LAX remains on edge following a shooting there three weeks go. A gunman stormed in on November 1, killing Transportation Security Administration officer Gerardo Hernandez and injuring several others.

Officers shot suspect Paul Ciancia multiple times during the assault.

He was hospitalized briefly, but is out and in the custody of U.S. marshals.

Ciancia has been charged with the murder of a federal officer and commission of violence at an international airport.
 CNN's Deanna Hackney contributed to this report
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