LOS ANGELES (FOX 11/ CNS) - Los Angeles Airport police beefed up security Friday at LAX terminals in the wake of a mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida that left at least five people dead and eight injured.
"We did see some additional security including automatic weapons," said Dick Swan who was picking up his daughter and her family.
"I just feel a little safer," Swan said.
His daughter Jennifer Swan-Altieri of Yorba Linda did not hear about the airport shooting until she landed Friday evening.
"As I landed here I turned on my cell phone and saw that a lot of people messaged me saying they were glad I was not in Florida. Then right away I went on the web to see what happened," said Swan-Altieri.
Airport officials are asking all travelers to be vigilant and report anything unusual.
"This really kind of set me in shock. I am going to hold my five year old tightly and just make sure we are aware of everything around us," said Swan-Altieri.
LAX police were ``deploying additional resources into our terminals and increasing their presence in the Central Terminal Area.''
Airport officials said they are ``closely monitoring the situation'' in Florida.
A suspect -- identified in media reports as New Jersey native Esteban Santiago, who was carrying a military ID -- was taken into custody in connection with the Florida shooting. Casualty numbers were changing rapidly,
with sheriff's officials in Florida reporting late Friday morning that five people had died and eight others were injured.
The shooting took place in a baggage claim area of the airport.
There were also unconfirmed reports around midday of additional shots being fired at the airport.
While the investigation continued, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ``ground stop'' at the airport, meaning all flights bound for Fort Lauderdale were being held on the ground at their originating airports. Flights already in the air and within 50 miles of the airport were allowed to continue, but flights farther than 50 miles were being diverted to other airfields.
Flights bound for Fort Lauderdale were diverted to other airports and numerous flights, including some from LAX, were canceled or delayed. According to airport officials, three arriving flights from Fort Lauderdale took off
before the shooting, but three others were canceled. One flight from LAX to Fort Lauderdale took off prior to the shooting and landed at the airport. Four other Fort Lauderdale-bound flights were canceled, and one more scheduled for later Friday night was still pending
Airport officials urged passengers to check with their airlines to determine the status of flights.
Please visit www.faa.gov for up-to-date status of operations at FLL.
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