Hartsfield-Jackson Airport evacuated after gun discharges at checkpoint

The gunfire that rattled passengers and employees at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport last week was an accidental discharge of a handgun carried by a TSA officer and did not come from a domestic or international terror attack, officials announced Thursday.

The gun went off after it was handled by an off-duty officer, Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said in a news conference.

Both officers working at the checkpoint realized their weapon discharged, Turner said.

Authorities say the TSA officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries after the incident at Terminal 2, which sits on the west side of the world’s busiest airport. No passengers were hurt.

The action occurred at 8:08 a.m. Thursday and was first reported as an active shooter situation.

In a statement, the Transportation Security Administration said the officer had a concealed weapon permit and was in uniform at the time of the incident.

The officer has not been identified and he has not yet spoken to investigators, Turner said.

Neither officer has been placed on leave, authorities said.

The official TSA Twitter account sent a series of tweets confirming the incident.

“We can confirm that a TSA officer involved in the incident is injured. There is no reported threat to airport,” the airport’s official Twitter account tweeted.

The airport’s official account @ATLairport retweeted: “As of now, it is believed that this incident is unrelated to terrorism. This matter is being handled by law enforcement and may be ongoing.”

The airport said passengers should follow instructions from law enforcement officials and not rush in.

The airport has urged passengers to call 855-451-9300 before they head to the airport’s tarmac.

FAA advisories said delays were expected as a result of the incident. But by Thursday afternoon, the airport was back to full operations.

The largest airport in the South, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson is the nation’s busiest airport.

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