False report of gun causes panic during security breach at Orlando International Airport, police say

Video: False report of gun causes panic during security breach at Orlando International Airport
  • 7:20 P.M. Update:

ORLANDO, Fla. — A security scare caused delays with passengers at the Orlando International Airport on Saturday afternoon after a false report that a man who was arrested while going through security had a gun.

The false accusation sparked outright panic, travelers said.

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Passengers described being evacuated from nearby restaurants as the Transportation Security Administration worked to regain control.


For hours, some passengers said they still had no idea what happened.

“It sounded like it was a fight because there was just a lot of commotion going on and tables being flipped over,” said passenger Theresa Hill. “Then all of a sudden, you hear this pop, pop, pop.”

Police said the chaos started around noon as a man tried to go through the west security checkpoint.

As police went to arrest him, he reached into his pocket and someone yelled he had a gun, officers said.

Orlando police later said there was no gun, just confusion.

“The people, the staff of Chili's were great,” Hill said. “They made us all get down, got us out. They evacuated us out of the building in a very timely manner.”

While that was happening, police said people in the security line panicked and ran past the checkpoints.

Some people were even hurt.

TSA had to shut down the screening, and once they restarted the process, the delays stacked up.

Some passengers quickly realized they would likely miss their flights.

“I was kind of in shock and very confused because there's lines everywhere, and I had no idea even where to go,” said passenger Andrea Bensette. “I went over there, and they were like, ‘No, the end of the line is this way,’ so I don't even know where it wraps around.”

As for the 38-year-old who tried to get through security, police said he was committed under the Baker Act, and upon release from the involuntary mental health hold, he will likely face several charges.

  • 2:20 P.M. Update:

Airport officials said delays continue as TSA workers resume screening passengers.

Passengers are being advised to arrive early for afternoon flights.

  • 2:10 P.M. Update:

Orlando police confirmed a man attempted to enter a checkpoint area and was later arrested.

Officers said the man reached into his pockets during the arrest which caused a panic after someone yelled that he had a gun.

Officers have not said if any weapons were found but said there is no current threat to the airport.

  • 1:50 P.M. Update:
Orlando police said a subject has been arrested after an attempted security breach at Orlando International Airport on Saturday.
The airport said security screening and shuttle services have resumed.
  • 1:40 P.M. Update:

WFTV reporter Michael Lopardi sees long line for gates 1-59 stretches all the way down the corridor past the food court.

  • 1:05 P.M. Breaking Report:

A passenger attempted to breach security at a TSA checkpoint at Orlando International Airport, an airport spokesperson said.

The incident caused a security scare at around noon Saturday.

This attempted breach comes two weeks after a

Airport officials said the incident occurred at the checkpoint for gates 1-59.


Officials said the screening process was paused and will resume.

This is a breaking news story that will be updated as more information comes in.