Police searching for man who discharged firearm at Atlanta airport

File Photo by John Dickerson/UPI
File Photo by John Dickerson/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Authorities are searching for a man who fled an Atlanta airport security checkpoint after a firearm was discharged on Saturday.

Kenny Wells, 42, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon at a commercial airport, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, discharging a firearm and reckless conduct, Atlanta Police Department Airport Precinct Commander Reginald L. Moorman said during a press conference Saturday.


"We are actively pursuing this individual," Moorman added.

The incident which was initially described as an accidental firearm discharge took place at around 1:30 p.m. at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Saturday, triggering false alarms of an active shooter.

Early reports indicated three people sustained, non-life-threatening injuries.

The Transportation Security Administration said that after a "secondary search" following an X-ray screening at the security checkpoint detected a "prohibited item" that Wells "lunged into his property, grabbing a firearm that was located inside," at which point it discharged.

"The passenger then fled the security checkpoint through an adjacent exit lane with his firearm," Robert Spinden, the TSA's federal security director for Georgia, said during a news conference.

As of Oct. 3, TSA officers had stopped 4,495 airline passengers from carrying firearms onto flights, exceeding the previous record of 4,432 firearms detected at checkpoints throughout the full calendar year 2019.


So far this year 405 firearms have been detected at checkpoints at the Atlanta airport, the TSA said.

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