- People at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport scattered after they heard loud noises and feared it was an active shooter.
- The airport said the noise was an “accidental discharge,” and there there was no ongoing threat.
- A statement from the airport said the incident occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Chaos ensued Saturday afternoon at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia when travelers fled in fear of an active shooter after a weapon was accidentally discharged.
Videos that circulated on social media showed chaos at the airport, including knocked-down security barriers, abandoned luggage, travelers running and on the ground, as well as people standing on the tarmac.
The incident occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m. when a weapon “accidentally discharged” in the security screening area, according to a tweet from the airport.
“There is not an active shooter. There was an accidental discharge at the Airport. There is no danger to passengers or employees,” a tweet from the Atlanta airport reads.
—Brad Neal (@bradn79) November 20, 2021
The Atlanta Police Department was on the scene, and an investigation by the airport is “ongoing.” An airport spokesperson did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment Saturday.
Atlanta police said there were no reports of injuries as of 2:15 p.m., Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
Witnesses said they heard “at least 3 shots,” journalist Tiffany Alaniz said in a tweet.
“It was a very scary situation,” Dianne Callahan, who was at the time sitting in the first-class section of a New York-bound flight with her son, told Insider. “We heard screaming and people started pushing to get inside the plane. It was extremely tense.”
—Dianne Callahan (@DianneCallaha16) November 20, 2021
Callahan said her gate in Terminal T was “very close” to the security screening area where the shot was heard.
“I did not hear the discharge. People that were pushing to get inside the plane said they heard it,” Callahan said, adding that her flight was deplaned so that passengers could be re-screened.
Scott Wilkinson, who was at the airport picking up his son, told Insider he ran out the front entrance of the airport as crowds of people fled. He added that some people dropped to the ground “out of fear” and were “worried about being shot.”
“Police came through and told everyone to get out. More screaming and running,” Wilkinson told Insider. “We waited outside and another wave of terrified people came around the outside corner forcing us back into the train station.”
Wilkinson said travelers were permitted to reenter the airport at approximately 3:15 p.m., almost two hours after the initial gunshot was reported.
—instagram @ MasterMoo (@BlackDivaModels) November 20, 2021