What’s the price of a rumor? In the case of last week’s shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport, it may have risen into the millions of dollars.
On Sunday, the New York Times reported on the panic and confusion that ensued after Friday’s shooting, when a man opened fire in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2. After killing five people and wounding eight others, the man dropped his weapon and surrendered to responding sheriff’s deputies.
As horrific as it was, the violence was brief and confined to a relatively small area in one of the airport’s four terminals. But that didn’t prevent the entire airport from being shut down, leaving both arriving and departing passengers unnecessarily stranded and inconvenienced for hours and causing disruptions to airline traffic that took days to sort out. All of that could have — and should have — been avoided.
It’s not as though there had never been a shooting at an American airport before. On Nov. 1, 2013, a man opened fire inside Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport, killing a TSA agent and wounding others. The shooting began outside the security checkpoint but continued inside the terminal before the gunman was wounded by police gunfire. I was among the hundreds of police officers who responded to the incident, an experience I described at the time here on PJ Media.