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Newport Beach tourism official fired over LAX tweet

The public relations director of Newport Beach’s tourism bureau was fired Monday after sending out a tweet encouraging travelers to come to the beach city and escape the “chaos” of the fatal shooting at Los Angeles International Airport.

The tweet was sent out on the bureau’s Twitter account hours after a shooter opened fire at the airport, killing a Transportation Security Administration agent and wounding several others.

A short time after it was posted, the tweet was deleted and a subsequent tweet apologized for the message and paid “respects to the victim’s family.”

“Was focused on closure and hearing reports of ppl stuck,” it read.

The shooting halted operations at one of the busiest airports in the country, causing massive delays for travelers.

In a statement, Visit Newport Beach Inc. Chief Executive Gary Sherwin said he was “appalled and dismayed by the lack of empathy and judgment conveyed” in the tweet, which he said was “posted without proper knowledge of the situation.”

“Our hearts go out to the victims of Friday’s airport shooting,” Sherwin said in the statement. “Visit Newport Beach Inc. is built on a platform of core values, including respect and integrity. This careless and regrettable tweet flies in the face of those values.”


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