Shooting Shuts Down Oklahoma City Airport for Hours
An hours long search for the suspect who shot and killed a Southwest Airlines employee at Will Rogers World airport in Oklahoma City, Okla. ended when police found him dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in his vehicle on the second floor of a parking structure.
Due to the nature of the injury, police have not been able to positively identify the suspect or give any information on the motive of the shooting.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Paco Balderrama said they have an idea of who the suspect could be and believe he was waiting for the victim, 52 year-old Michael Winchester, to arrive or leave work. He was shot on the sidewalk near one of the airport parking lots.
OKC police closed down the airport around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday as a precaution while they swept the area for any other dangers. At first, they had travelers inside the airport “shelter in place” as they looked for the suspect. After a few hours with no new information, police decided to evacuate the airport and remove those who had been sitting on planes waiting to depart. They were transported to a nearby cell phone lot.
By 7 p.m., the airport tweeted that they would begin to resuming normal operations.
Southwest Airlines put out a statement on the death of Winchester.
“The Southwest Family is deeply saddened by the passing of our Southwest Family Member, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies and support to his family and Southwest co-workers at this time,” the statement read.