Passenger accused of running from Atlanta airport after gun discharged facing 3 charges, police say

ATLANTA — An accidental gun discharge Saturday afternoon caused some concern for travelers at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

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Update 8:54 p.m. EST Nov. 20: Police issued arrest warrants late Saturday for a passenger they said ran from the Atlanta airport after a gun inside his bag discharged at the security checkpoint when he lunged for it.

Atlanta police identified the passenger as Kenny Wells, 42, who faces charges of carrying a concealed weapon at an airport, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and reckless conduct, WSB-TV reported.

Officials with Hartsfield Jackson-International Airport said that there was never an active shooter situation at the facility on Saturday but did confirm that the gun accidentally discharged at around 1:30 p.m. in the screening area.

According to a statement issued by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, three people suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the chaos that followed the weapon’s discharge. The agency clarified, without specifying their injuries, that none of the three was shot.

The TSA also confirmed that an X-ray revealed a “prohibited item,” prompting a bag search during which Wells lunged into the bag, causing the accidental discharge, WSB-TV reported.

Wells then ran from the area and out of the airport exit, the TV station reported.

Original report: Airport officials did not say where the gun was discharged but emphasized that there was no active shooter, WSB-TV reported.

“There is no danger to passengers or employees,” airport officials said in a short statement on Twitter. “An investigation is ongoing, more information will be published on this channel.”

The incident took place around 1:30 p.m. EST at one of the nation’s busiest airports, causing flights to be delayed.

An Atlanta police spokesperson told CNN no injuries had been reported.

“There was an accidental discharge of a firearm near the main security checkpoint,” Atlanta police Sgt. Jarius Daugherty told the news network. “Officers are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.”

Per Federal Aviation Administration regulations, a ground stop was called for the airport, CNN reported. However, that was lifted after a brief period.

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