New Zealander Led Others to Escape Los Angeles Airport Shooting, Suspect Planned Suicide
By Reissa Su | November 4, 2013 1:24 PM EST
A New Zealander was able to shield himself and other airline passengers into a secure luggage area after an unknown assailant opened fire with his gun just a few metres away from them inside the Los Angeles Airport.
Steven Bates immediately took action as the gunman went on a shooting rampage and fired dozens of rounds randomly at the crowded airport. The LAX airport shooting incident killed a transit security officer and injured seven other passengers.
Mr Bates, who is married with two children, came from Auckland. He is an executive for Medaire, a medical response company. When Mr Bates heard the gunfire, he dived to the ground for cover. He said he heard the "pop pop pop" sounds of a gun firing in Terminal 3.
He and other passengers in the area began jumping behind the counters and climbed on conveyor belts. When airport personnel saw them, Mr Bates told the staff that there was "a lot of shooting" outside.
The passengers escaped harm as they were able to hide behind a barricade they formed with a few of the elderly and counter staff of Virgin America. Mr Bates said at first he was bewildered by the ongoing shooting. When he heard another big barrage of gunfire, he was beginning to fear for their lives since he didn't know if the gunman was running their way or not.
When the shootout began, the Los Angeles airport went on lockdown. Mr Bates was on his way to a Florida for a boat show. He said he was only in the LAX airport because his flight on Air New Zealand had been delayed for 10 hours.
Due to the incident, hundreds of flights were cancelled during and passengers of Air New Zealand remained on the airport tarmac for more than four hours when the shooting occurred.
Police had apprehended the suspected gunman in a deadly attack at the Los Angeles airport. A U.S. security committee chairman said the suspect, 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, planned a suicide mission. The chairman was reportedly able to obtain a note that said the suspect intended to kill himself after killing one TSA officer.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton Pregnancy Update: Duchess Spotted All Smiles, Sickness Seems Over
- 14 Contestants For Miss Hitler 2014 Beauty Pageant Organised By Russian Equivalent Of Facebook
- 2014 Meteor Shower: Slooh To Have Live Broadcast Of Orionids Meteor Shower October 21 Peak, NASA Assures Ideal Observing Conditions
- Kate Middleton To Give Birth To A 'Cheerful' Baby, Duchess Not Carrying Twins---Report
- 63-Year-Old Admits He Has Made Love To More Than 700 Cars But Now Remains Faithful To Just One Beetle
- Galaxy Note 4 vs Redmi Note 2 vs iPhone 6: Samsung in Danger with Depressing Q3
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date Likely this October 2014 with Pangu not Evad3rs Firming Up as Creator
- Top 4 Free-To-Download Apps for Fuller iPhone 6, 6 Plus Experience
- Battery Saving Android 5.0 Lollipop Feature Extends The Battery Life Of Your Android Device By 90 Minutes And Displays Orange Bar While Power Saving Mode Is On
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock Set to Soar Beyond $100 Despite Decline After New iPad Launch
- Russia Beefs Up Gold Reserves To Offset Heat of Sanctions And Undercut Dollar
- Australia's 'No Way' Anti-Asylum Seeker Poster Sparks Outrage