Breaking: Canberra Airport has been evacuated after a gunman opened fire on the check-in area of the terminal. Bullet holes and shattered glass can be seen from the exterior of the airport. So far, there are no reported injuries, and police have taken a man into custody.
In a harrowing development on a calm Sunday in Australia’s capital, Canberra Airport was catapulted into shock when a gunman stormed the airport in broad daylight. Police have yet to release an official statement relating to the incident, and there are no indications as to what the motivation of the attack was. A person has been arrested and is in custody. Police believe that just one person is responsible, and a firearm has been retrieved. Police spoke briefly to the press around 3:35 pm local time, revealing that more will be known tomorrow.
Canberra Airport remains stationary while police warn people to stay away
Planes remain on the ground at the capital’s only airport while police assess the ongoing risk. Passengers that were in the terminal remained in shock while providing eyewitness accounts of what happened.
“I saw this grandma with a baby and the fear in her face and I knew it was something serious,” said ABC reporter Lily Thomson who happened to be passing through the Airport at the time.
Detective acting superintendent Dave Craft of the Australian Capital Territory police briefly addressed the press, confirming what is currently known about the incident.
Police urge people that there is no ongoing threat or danger to public safety. However, the motivation for the shooting remains unknown.
“I just need to reassure people that the airport is safe, that ACT Policing have responded, and there is no ongoing threat to the community or to passengers arriving and departing,” Mr Craft said in the press debrief.
Police are working closely with Canberra Airport to ensure flights resume this afternoon without too much further disruption. Passengers that remain on planes at the airport are being escorted through the airport to pick up their belongings.
No one harmed in shooting, but motivation remains unclear
A witness who saw the gunman described them as a “clean cut” middle-aged man. Varying reports claim there could have been up to as many as ten shots fired. However, only four bullet holes are visible from the exterior of the terminal.
Another witness, who declined to provide their name to the Guardian, said he was putting his hand luggage through the security X-ray machine. He mentioned that everything happened so fast as security guards yelled at people to run, and he was worried about not getting his phone and wallet back.
Police say the gunman had no known target. They have been arrested but not charged with anything yet. Flights are expected to resume shortly, and more information will be released in due course.
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