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Shooting at L.A. Airport Leaves Two Dead

Aired July 4, 2002 - 16:17   ET



JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: ... not this international terminal. Just a few moments ago, a Los Angeles police officer had this to say about what they know at this point about what happened.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Lieutenant Horace Frank (ph), LAPD. Two people have died. Can you give some details here, lieutenant?

LT. HORACE FRANK (ph), LAPD: Well, keep in mind, this is very sketchy. We are going to have a press conference in about another half hour where you'll get much more updated. But as of right now, it appears that we have two individuals down, one as a result of a shooting by the suspect, the other as a result of the return fire by the airline security.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So, is the airline security person the other person who shot and killed?

FRANK: No. The airline security person is not killed.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Who is the other person, then?

FRANK: We have a suspect who was killed and a victim. We don't have any names or identities as of this moment.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: At this point, if -- it's a passenger who was perhaps at the counter at the time that the shooting started?

FRANK: We don't know if it was a passenger or if it was just someone who was just visiting or what. We don't have that information right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Male or female?

FRANK: I don't have that information right now. We are going to have a lot more information for you in about a half-hour.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Lieutenant, at this point, as I understand, you don't know what brought this on, whether this was a personal grudge, a robbery or a terrorist incident. FRANK: As of right now, we don't know a motive. And we have got a massive investigation on the way. And we should have a lot more in about a half hour.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: All the airlines are stopping their flights or they're diverted. At this point, I understand they're allowing people to come out of Customs, but that's all?

FRANK: I don't know. Certainly, we will get that information when the chief of airport police, when he's here.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Let me press you on one other point, if I may. Possible suspect, another name, you have it. You're looking for that person. How does that tie in?

FRANK: We have two individuals in custody that we are questioning. We don't have any names. But we have two individuals in custody that we are questioning at this point.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So you're not looking for anybody else at this point?

FRANK: Well, obviously, we are always looking because the investigation is a very fluid investigation. As we develop information...

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But there's no name out there.

FRANK: No. We don't have any names at this moment.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: All right. Lieutenant, thanks very much.

FRANK: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Lieutenant Horace Frank.


WOODRUFF: At the same time, we are watching this story developing at the Los Angeles Airport, very close by in a suburb of Los Angeles called San Dimas. We are not quite sure. It's a number of miles east of Los Angeles, we believe. A small plane crashed into a Fourth of July crowd. Six people are injured, we are told, perhaps two or three are critically injured. The others are hurt. We know very little at this point. We do have these live pictures you can see clearly. There are security personnel and rescue and emergency personnel around. We don't know when this happened, but it does appear to have been a small plane. No deaths reported at this moment, but some critical injuries out of that incident.

With me now on the telephone is Rally Caparas with, the travel Web site. Did I pronounce your name correctly?

RALLY CAPARAS, ORBITZ AIR TRAFFIC SPECIALIST: Yes you did, Judy. Thanks. WOODRUFF: Now, you can give us some information about air traffic not only around Los Angeles in California, but around the entire country. What -- first of all, how is what happened at LAX effecting traffic in and out of that city?

CAPARAS: Well, Judy, the only traffic that it should be affecting at this point, based on what I'm hearing that took place, is the international flights in and out of the Bradley terminal will all be delayed indefinitely, obviously. LAX airport management may opt to have some of the arriving international flights go to the other concourses.

Now, if that takes place, then they will have to move Customs and the rest and go into those locations. However, that might be more than what it's worth. So there could be lengthy delays for flights into and out of the Bradley terminal, indefinite delays.

Now, the domestic passengers that are trying to make it out of LAX and people that are going there to pick up passengers that are arriving for this Fourth of July weekend, they'll be indefinitely delayed also as emergency response teams, medical teams, the appropriate investigative authorities go the Bradley terminal and conduct their investigations along with the news media and all the press that's going to be crowding in.

So there will be significant amount of delays into and out of LAX, even though the schedules won't be disrupted as much as you would think. But the international flights will definitely have disruption to them.

WOODRUFF: All right. Do I understand you to say the domestic flights are going to be pretty much on time, but the people may not be making their flights because they can't get to the terminals?

CAPARAS: And that's where airport management will come in. There will be people having a difficult time trying to make their scheduled flights because of the traffic that will be surrounding this event. And in that instance, the airport authority may opt to order those flights grounded until they can allow enough time for people to make their flights. So, there is an option there that they can do that. And if they do do that, then people can anticipate somewhere around an hour delays out of and into the airport.

WOODRUFF: Rally Caparas is with How much traffic, air traffic, would their normally be on the Fourth of July? You know, this is a day we typically think of people driving, but not flying somewhere.

CAPARAS: Well, Judy, because of the way the Fourth fell this year, it's almost like a Thanksgiving day break, and Thanksgiving typically is the busiest time of the travel year -- or the busiest travel time of the year. But what happens is because today is the actual holiday, most people that were scheduling trips to their destinations for locations for the celebration have already arrived.

It's late in the day, so traffic is starting to dwindle and the density is starting to drop, looking like a typical holiday. So the traffic is going to be there up until about I'd say 3:00 Eastern time, and then the rest of the country would start to see a decline in traffic and that will help alleviate the problem there.

WOODRUFF: Now what about -- just from a national standpoint, this is obviously isolated to California, to Los Angeles. But to what extent does it affect flights that are not going into Los Angeles?

CAPARAS: Well, flights that aren't going into Los Angeles is one thing, but flights coming from Los Angeles into those other locations, possibly passengers trying to connect other flights -- Los Angeles is not a big hub airport. It's a destination airport, so it doesn't pose a problems as would Dallas with American Airlines or Atlanta and Delta Airlines.

However, there are a lot of connecting flights going to -- or coming from Los Angeles to the rest of the country. And it could pose a problem for the connections, people that are running late. So there's going to have to be a system-wide kind of a heads up, hey we've got a major incident at Los Angeles, we may have to delay flights that are connecting with Los Angeles, arriving flights at your airports to go on to further destinations by about 30 minutes or so. But that would be a major change to what normally takes place. And it's basically if you're not there on time at your connecting airport, your flight will leave you.

WOODRUFF: All right. Rally Caparas with, the travel Web site. We thank you very much for being with us.




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