Police Shoot Knife-Wielding Man at Miami Airport as People Try to Flee Irma
MIAMI – Police shot a knife-wielding man “acting erratically” late Thursday at Miami airport, as thousands of people tried to board flights to leave South Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma, reported USA Today.
Police said the unnamed white man, believed to be in his 30s, was able to breach security and get onto the runway before he was subdued by a responding officer.
“A confrontation ensued between the officer and the subject and the officer discharged his firearm,” the Miami Dade Police Department said in a statement.
As a result of the shooting, the man was taken to Jackson Ryder Trauma Center. He is currently listed in stable condition, police said. The officer, who was not identified, escaped the incident unscathed.
“We do not believe this is related to a terrorist incident at all, but we are not ruling that out because it is early,” Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said late Thursday.
However, Perez said it appeared the incident was isolated, according to the Miami Herald.
“We do not suspect that there’s other individuals in the airport who are here to cause any harm and right now the situation has been neutralized so there is no danger to the patrons of the airport,” he said.
Shawn Woodford and his wife were about to board a flight home to Canada when fire trucks and police cars came “flying across the tarmac” and “surrounded a plane at the gate next to us,” he told the Associated Press.
Not long after responding officers entered the terminal where Woodford and his wife were located. They said, “Everybody out of here” as they evacuated the entire concourse, according to Woodford.
Consequently, the closure led to disruption of services. Some flights were delayed or moved to other gates. Woodford was able to board his flight for Toronto — at a different concourse and nearly four hours after his original departure time.
— Shawn Woodford (@ShawnWoodford) September 8, 2017
The Miami airport remained open Friday and planned to close only if Irma caused severe damage or safety concerns, according to an airport statement. But the airport is not a designated shelter during a storm, so occupants might be evacuated to nearby shelters.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will now investigate shooting.
By 11 a.m. Friday, 271 flights departed and 324 arrivals were canceled.
(Photo: Shawn Woodford Twitter)