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Chaos ensues at Atlanta Airport after passenger accidentally fires gun

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At Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, chaos reigned over the weekend (ATL). A passenger mistakenly fired a weapon in the airport’s security section on November 20, 2021, sparking great concern among passengers.

A forbidden object was discovered in a passenger’s personal items during x-ray screening at the airport’s security checkpoint at 13:30 p.m. local time.

The passenger “lunged inside his property, seizing a weapon that was located inside, which eventually discharged” during the subsequent search.

“The passenger then escaped the security checkpoint with his firearm through an adjacent exit lane,” said Robert Spinden, TSA Georgia federal security director, at a news conference that was broadcast on social media by the Atlanta Police Department.

In a statement provided by TSA, the agency said that following the initial screening, during which the weapon was originally discovered by x-ray, a Transport Security officer cautioned the passenger not to touch the property.

The passenger, however, dived into the bag and grabbed a pistol, which discharged as the officer unzipped the compartment housing the forbidden item. The traveler then ran out of the airport exit and out of the area.

According to authorities, no one was shot during the event, but three individuals were injured as a result of the chaos that erupted.

ATL airport was declared all-clear at 14:57 p.m. local time, and normal operations were restored.

Kenny Wells, 42, was the passenger whose weapon was discharged, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

“We have taken out warrants for carrying concealed a weapon at a commercial airport, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, discharging a firearm, and reckless conduct. We are actively pursuing this individual,” Atlanta Police Department Airport Precinct Commander Reginald L. Moorman said at the press conference.

In 2021, TSA officers discovered more than 450 guns at ATL checks alone. This event emphasizes the need of thoroughly inspecting personal belongings for potentially dangerous objects before departing for the airport. The TSA revealed in October 2021 that a record number of travellers had brought firearms to the airport in the first nine months of 2021, hitting a 20-year high.

Photo cover: @shannonrwatts/Twitter
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