Police search for convicted criminal after ‘accidental’ gunshot in Atlanta – 11/21/2021

New York, 21 Nov 2021 (AFP) – Police were searching on Sunday (21) for a convicted criminal who had fled Atlanta International Airport after his gun accidentally went off during a security check, causing panic in the scene.

The episode, which reflects the highly politicized issue of the prevalence of guns in American society, left three people lightly injured, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

“We are actively looking for this individual,” Atlanta Police Major Reginald Moorman told a news conference after identifying the suspect as 42-year-old Kenny Wells.

The TSA said the incident occurred after a “prohibited item” was identified in a passenger’s bag by an X-ray machine at a checkpoint.

When a security official opened the compartment that contained the gun, “the passenger ran towards the trunk and grabbed a firearm, at which point it fired”, the agency reported, adding that the passenger “abandoned the area, running to the exit from the airport”.

The TSA did not detail how people were injured.

– Panic and running The airport had already informed, on Saturday, about the incident.

“At around 1:30 pm today (3:30 pm EDT), a gun accidentally went off in the security control area of ​​the ATL (Atlanta airport),” the airport in this populous southeastern US city announced on its Twitter account.

“There is no sniper at the airport,” added the source, noting that police were on the scene.

In another tweet, moments later, the airport insisted that there was “no danger to passengers, or to employees.” Also according to airport infrastructure authorities, an investigation was already underway.

Many people crouched when they heard a loud detonation, and others ran, dropping suitcases in their path, trying to escape the scene, a video broadcast by the American network CNN showed.

In the video, people could be heard shouting “Down!” while others crawled on the ground. Some took refuge in the airport’s restaurants, and others even ran to the runway.

Atlanta airport did not say what type of weapon it fired or who owned it. Nor did it reveal whether the incident caused disruptions to the planned flights.

Airports in the United States are very busy on the weekend before Thanksgiving, celebrated on the 25th. This date is one of the most important celebrations in the country.

arb/cjc/atm/rsr/mvv/tt