iStock/Bogdan Khmelnytskyi(ORLANDO) — Chaos erupted at Orlando International Airport Saturday after a man tried to breach a security checkpoint and travelers yelled out that the suspect had a gun, police said.
The man, Ryan Scott Mills, 38, was unarmed, Orlando Police said in a statement, adding that there was no gun involved in the incident and that “no shots were ever fired.”
Mills was attempting to cross the airport’s west checkpoint around noon on Saturday when he was stopped by TSA agents, who called police for assistance, authorities said. When police attempted to arrest him, he reached into his pocket, and that’s when “unknown persons in the screening area yelled that he had a gun,” police said.
“The commotion caused a panic and persons in the screening area fled,” the police statement said. “Some of them ran past the checkpoints, which caused TSA to immediately suspend screening operations. Several travelers were injured due to the panic (pushing from the crowd) but all were minor in nature.”
Video from the incident shows people becoming increasingly panicked as they ran away from the screening area. With alarms blaring, children can be seen crying and rope barriers are strewn across the floors.
The person who took the video can be heard saying that the suspect had “a grenade or something in his hand” as he runs through the hallways of the airport.
Caroline Fennell, senior director of public affairs at the airport, said in a statement that the incident happened during one of the busiest times for security screening at the airport but that operations have resumed.
Orlando International Airport also tweeted that the checkpoint was “fully operational” but “delays continue.” Passengers scheduled for flights Saturday afternoon should check for status updates, according to the tweet.
Mills was taken into involuntary protective custody and he will be charged with disorderly conduct and resisting officer without violence, according to the police statement.
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