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An armed man was “contained” and speaking with a crisis negotiator Tuesday night at the Orlando International Airport, authorities said.
The man was not in custody. The terrifying situation created confusion and uncertainty as video and photos posted online showed police with their weapons drawn.
“There is no active shooter,” Orlando police tweeted. “No shots fired. Suspect is contained.”
There is no active shooter. No shots fired. Suspect is contained. Will post updates as we receive them. https://t.co/ckElLh9QDE
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) May 31, 2017
Glorializ Colón Plaza, 20, told the Orlando Sentinel she was just getting off work from Virgin Atlantic airlines when she saw everyone hiding. She got off the elevator and saw the man on the floor near the rental car area. He was screaming, and cops had surrounded him.
“I couldn’t make out the words, but he was screaming really loud,” she said. “Everyone there told me right before this happened a man said to everyone: ‘You’re going to need mental therapy after this,’ then he pulled out a gun and everyone ran.”
Plaza said she didn’t hear any gunshots or see anyone injured.
“I saw all the cops with the long rifles and started shaking,” she said. “It didn’t seem real.”
The incident was first reported about 7:24 p.m. ET. Officers responded and cleared the first floor of Terminal A, airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell told the Sentinel. The entire terminal was eventually closed.
Images posted on social media showed a heavy police presence in the area and passengers were worried about missing flights. The Florida Highway Patrol tweeted that all roads to the airport were shut down, with “zero exceptions.” Authorities warned people to stay in their vehicles and away from law enforcement.
Fennell didn’t immediately respond to a message left by the Associated Press. Police referred calls to the spokeswoman.
Earlier this year, authorities say an Alaska man killed five people inside a baggage claim area at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
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