Police search causes lockdown at Phoenix airport

AP News
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Posted: Sep 18, 2014 10:27 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — The busiest terminal at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was on lockdown for more than three hours Thursday as police searched for a suspect in a shooting in nearby Tempe before making the arrest.

Flights out of Terminal 4 were grounded for a brief time as hundreds of law-enforcement officers, some armed with assault rifles, looked for a man believed to be hiding in the parking garage.

He was eventually taken into custody and the terminal was reopened to passengers around 6 p.m. MST.

Airport officials said some flights out of Terminal 4 would be delayed until operations could return to normal.

American Airlines/US Airways, Southwest Airlines and Air Canada are the major carriers out of the Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor, which is one of the nation's 10 busiest airports with more than 1,200 planes and 100,000 passengers arriving and departing daily.

Flights out of Terminals 2 and 3 operated normally during the police search, which began after a shooting at a Tempe gasoline station around 2:45 p.m. Thursday.

Tempe police said a man was shot in the upper body for an unknown reason and three suspects fled in a car. That began a high-speed chase that ended at the airport when the suspects bailed from the vehicle.

Police arrested a man and woman and believed the third suspect — a bare-chested man with dreadlocks and a red shirt — ran into Terminal 4's parking garage.

It was unclear if the suspect was armed and police placed the terminal on lockdown, blocking the entrance and all ground traffic so a thorough search could be conducted.

Authorities didn't immediately release any information on the three arrested suspects. Tempe police said the wounded man, whose name wasn't disclosed, was hospitalized in serious condition.