Evacuation at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Raises False Flag About an Active Shooter

A weapons discharge caused quite a stir at Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta this afternoon. Flights were shut down and the airport was evacuated after a weapon discharged during the security screening.

Via the airport’s Twitter feed:

At approximately 1:30 pm today a weapon accidently discharged at ATL’s security screening area. There is NOT an active shooter at the airport. APD is on the scene. More information about the situation will be made available on our social media channels.

With the state of life in America, the first thought was an active shooter, and many ran with it, particularly the passengers who had to get out of the airport quickly.

From local KHOU TV:

A little before 3:30 p.m., the airport said officials had given an all-clear and that “normal operations are beginning.”

Social media posts showed an evident panic caused by confusion following the discharge. Numerous accounts of passengers reporting the panic were posted to social media.

Atlanta mayoral candidate and City Councilman Andre Dickens said he spoke to the airport’s general manager and police chief and confirmed there was not an active shooter, with an investigation ongoing into the “loud bang” that caused the panic.

The airport’s Twitter feed quickly sent out an update:

There is not an active shooter. There was an accidental discharge at the Airport. There is no danger to passengers or employees. An investigation is ongoing, more information will be published on this channel.

 

When you have to wait, and you have no way of knowing what is going on, all you can do is speculate. So, along with passengers’ (and others’) questions about flights, wait times, and whether they would be allowed to exit the airport, there were the typical hot takes on Georgia gun laws and America’s obsession with guns.

But we have no idea what caused the incident. How do we know that it wasn’t a federal Air Marshal going through security and TSA failed to handle his or her weapon properly? How do we know it wasn’t a pilot? Under certain circumstances, they are still allowed to carry while flying.

Any incident where you have to evacuate is frightening and disconcerting, and according to the commentary on the feed, Atlanta airport did not do a great job of allaying fears.

It took a bit, but operations are moving back to per usual, according to the airport’s Twitter feed:

Officials have given an all-clear for #ATLAirport and normal operations are beginning. Information for passengers and employees will be provided on ATL’s social media feeds and in the airport’s public address system.

Thankfully, there was no harm to human life. The humans’ mental and emotional state is another story.