Federal agent shoots own foot at crowded Orlando airport
A loud bang rang out through the east end of a sprawling airport terminal. Some knew right away that it was a gunshot, and many were shaken by the terrifying noise.
Turned out it was an agent who accidentally shot himself in the foot as he approached a checkpoint at Orlando International Airport around 11:20am. The freak incident unfolded when he proceeded to unsling a shoulder bag which accidentally caught onto his holstered weapon.
As the weapon fell from the agent’s holster due to contact from the bag, he tried to catch it and inadvertently pulled the trigger. The bullet struck the agent in the heel and was recovered a few feet away, police said. No one was injured except the agent.
The agent was wearing a vest and a T-shirt depicting the American flag and the word “PROUD.”
The man also had a shaved head and gray goatee, and has since been identified as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent from Kansas City who was on vacation, according to a statement from the Orlando Police Department, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“I know that was a gunshot,” a woman standing at an information kiosk said, as the shot rung out. Another woman stated that she was still shaken from the loud noise following the shot.
The bullet apparently ripped several inches of the carpet under a bench close to the atrium’s fountain. Officers and travelers alike photographed the tear in the carpet, which was covered with a large potted plant later on.
Many Transportation Security Administration officers stepped out from their screening rooms following the gunshot, and two Orlando police officers arrived on the scene. They calmly walked toward the man and started to question him. He was later treated for the gunshot wound.
Shortly after the incident, many more law enforcement officers began to descend onto the scene, including an Orlando police officer on a bike, an officer in plain clothes and Homeland Security officers. The injured agent did not appear to be in distress.
A spokeswoman for the police department said the agent, just like any other law enforcement personnel, was allowed to fly with a loaded gun with proper documentation.
The agent sat in a wheelchair after the incident and was treated by paramedics, who bandaged his heel.
The agent was able to walk to a stretcher to make his way to the hospital for treatment.