Moments before LAX panic, officers confront man dressed as Zorro
A man dressed as Zorro and carrying a plastic sword was confronted at gunpoint by police at Los Angeles International Airport Sunday, just moments before a false report of an active shooter sent passengers stampeding from multiple terminals.
Airport police responded to Terminal 7 on Sunday at about 8:40 p.m., following reports of a man dressed in black with a sword and wearing a mask, according to a statement from Los Angeles World Airports.
Believing the man was armed with a sword, police approached him with weapons drawn “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the airport.
A video on Twitter shows at least six officers confronting the man, who was sitting on a bench just outside the terminal where arriving passengers are picked up. He was ordered to lay face-down on the sidewalk as officers approached him.
The man was detained, questioned and released, the LAWA statement said. Airport police determined the sword was plastic.
The costumed man could be heard on the video of the incident saying he was there to pick someone up. The man, who would not give news outlets his name, told CBS Los Angeles that the “next thing I know, LAPD is all over me.”
It is unclear if the Zorro detainment is related to reports that followed immediately after of an active shooter in Terminal 8.
According to LAWA, word of a possible shooter spread quickly through LAX terminals.
“Many passengers and employees evacuated onto the airfield and into teh Central Terminal Area roadways,” the statement read. “An investigation, that included review of closed-circuit television footage, revealed that no shots were fired. Airport Police continue to investigate what caused the incident.”
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