Police and paramedics have surrounded a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport because of a reported shooting.
Witness Brian Keech said he heard “about a dozen gunshots” from inside the security gate at Terminal 3.
Other travellers described a chaotic scene as airport security staff evacuated terminals and rushed them outside to the tarmac. Hundreds of people remained gathered outside next to aircraft as authorities investigated what happened.
“People started saying there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,” said Natalie Morin, who was heading to San Francisco for a graduate school interview.
Emergency crews responded to a multi-patient incident, Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
Terminal 3 is home to Virgin America and other airlines.
There is an incident underway at LAX. Law enforcement is on scene. More information to follow.— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) November 1, 2013
Airport officials confirm police incident began at 9:30 a.m. @ Terminal 3 at LAX. More info to come.— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) November 1, 2013
All upper/departures level roadways are temporarily blocked by law enforcement. General public are being held back at law enforcement block— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) November 1, 2013
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said emergency crews have responded to a multi-patient incident which was reported after 9:30am local time.
There was no immediate word of any injuries, but television images showed two people being wheeled away by firefighters.
Triage stations also were seen.
US President Barack Obama later said that he had been briefed on the reported shooting.
The White House said that the Los Angeles Police Department is leading the response and investigation into the shooting, and administration officials are in touch with federal and local partners.
The White House says it is urging people to listen to authorities and follow directions from first responders on site.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey called the shooting a multi-patient incident.