Los Angeles International Airport was temporarily shut down on Sunday night after reports of a possible active shooter caused many passengers who were waiting for flights to flee from the airport and seek cover.
According to ABC News, panic set in amongst LAX passengers at approximately 9 p.m. PST on Sunday after several loud noises were heard inside of the airport. People started scattering towards the LAX exits—with some running through security checkpoints without being properly screened—and, within just a few minutes, videos of the mass exodus started popping up on social media:
The Los Angeles Airport Police Department confirmed that there were reports of an active shooter inside of the airport a short time later:
The Los Angeles Police Department then evacuated the airport to conduct a full search of LAX. But at the end of their investigation, the LAPD did not find any evidence of a shooting and declared the situation a false alarm. LAPD Captain Andy Neiman posted this on Twitter just before 11 p.m. PST on Sunday:
It was reminiscent of a similar incident that took place at JFK Airport in New York City in early August. Passengers were eventually allowed to re-enter LAX on Sunday night, but the evacuation has resulted in delays that have continued well into Monday morning since all flights into and out of LAX were halted while the LAPD conducted its investigation on Sunday night.
In an odd twist to the story, "Zorro" has been trending on Twitter on Monday morning as a result of a video that shows police surrounding a man dressed as Zorro at LAX during their investigation into the possible active shooter:
The man, who has not been identified, was briefly detained by police during their investigation:
But according to CBS Los Angeles, he turned out to be an actor who was picking someone up at LAX following an audition.
LAX is encouraging passengers who plan on traveling on Monday to contact their airlines for any updates on possible flight delays: