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FBI: US Airport Shooting Does Not Appear to Be Terror Incident - 2002-07-04


Three people were killed and at least seven injured Thursday morning when a gunman carrying two guns and a 15 centimeter (six-inch) knife opened fire at the ticket counter of the Israeli airline, El Al, at the Los Angeles International Airport. Federal investigators say there is no indication of terrorist involvement and that the shooting appears to have been an isolated incident. The unidentified gunman is one of the dead.

A witness described a flurry of gunfire, then silence and more gunfire near the El Al airline ticket counter at the Bradley international terminal. Police say a security guard for the Israeli-based airline shot and killed the gunman. The witness said eight to 10 shots were fired.

Ambulances removed the injured as authorities evacuated thousands of holiday travelers.

Los Angeles mayor James Hahn says the incident appears to have been isolated. "We have no information that indicates that this incident is connected to any terrorist event or anything else, but the matter is under investigation right now and will continue to be under the FBI," he said.

FBI agent Richard Garcia cautions that no eventualities are being ruled out.

Security is high at U.S. airports and other public places on this Independence Day holiday, out of concern for a possible terrorist attack.

Acting Los Angeles police chief Martin Pomeroy urged people to exercise caution, but sees no special risk in light of the airport shootings.

"We find nothing else going on in this city or in the nation that would indicate that any of our venues are not safe at this moment," he said. "And although we will additional resources looking at some of the places where our citizens will gather this evening, we have not issued any kind of an alert. We have not told anybody not to go, we are not suggesting that anybody not attend any public events that may be scheduled."

Limited service was expected to resume at the affected airport terminal later Thursday.

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