A shooting at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport on Monday morning is now being called an “accidental discharge.”
Police said the male suspect identified as Arthur Greene pulled a gun on an off-duty officer at the Delta Sky Lounge shortly before 9 a.m. The off-duty officer — who was traveling to visit her daughter — approached the suspect and told him to put the gun down and put it behind his back, when Greene walked toward the officer with the gun pointed at his temple.
The off-duty officer disarmed the suspect and called for backup.
Both officers fired their guns, striking Greene. He was taken to a local hospital where he is currently listed in critical condition.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:
“They exchanged gunfire. He was hit, and the officer was hit, and he was taken down, and they are both on life support,” Freeman Martin, chief of police, said in a press conference at the scene. … As the officers approached, they saw Greene lying face down with a gun next to him, Martin said. Greene appeared to be breathing, and his wound was not open, so they believed he was alive, Martin said. He was wounded near the throat area. The officers tried to talk to Greene, telling him to identify himself and put his gun down, Martin said. But Greene continued to stand and yell and did not put down the gun. As officers were trying to negotiate with Greene, he turned his head and pointed the gun at them, Martin said. The suspect then fired, striking the officers twice, the police chief said. He said the gun was an “assault-style weapon.”
Coverage on the shooting from Fox News Channel included Shepard Smith Reporting at 7:30 p.m. ET, GBTV later reporting that Greene was wounded and might have been shot while being subdued.
Chief Martin said Greene was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.
“We got a shooter and there’s victims,” a female employee at a nearby smoke shop told one of the first arriving police officers as shots rang out. “It’s a miracle we’re here alive.”
Greene is 30, “a non-gun-toting, non-violent, non-criminal — the last guy you would expect to cause mayhem in the world’s busiest airport,” an unnamed government official told CNN. Over the coming hours, police moved hostages to safety, evacuated or secured several floors of Terminal 2 and cleared and re-screened luggage claim areas in the building. Air traffic into the airport was suspended and diverted. [Transportation Security Administration] officers, homing in on the suspect, had shots fired at them. [Federal Aviation Administration] officials began diverting flights at 7:30 a.m. local time. More than 1,500 departing flights were canceled, according to FlightAware.com, an aircraft tracking website.
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