“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.”
An Atlanta police spokesperson told CNN no injuries had been reported as a result of the incident.
“There was an accidental discharge of a firearm near the main security checkpoint,” Atlanta police Sgt. Jarius Daugherty said. “Officers are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.”
Witnesses described chaos and confusion as panic erupted in the airport’s domestic terminal. Erika Zeidler, who was traveling from Atlanta to Anchorage, Alaska, said she was sitting in Concourse T when people began running down the hallway.
“We assumed they were late for a flight,” she told CNN. “Then all of a sudden more people started running down the terminal and were screaming there was a shooter.”
Greg Romero had just gotten off a flight when he heard there was an emergency. Airport personnel “shut off all the escalators and cut off all passengers and turned off the tram,” said Romero, the father-in-law of CNN correspondent Nadia Romero.
“Right now airport personnel is doing a really good job keeping everybody calm,” he added.
A ground stop was called for the airport for all departing flights, per the Federal Aviation Administration, but was soon lifted.
Details about the weapon or circumstances surrounding the accidental discharge have not been made available.
The incident comes as the Thanksgiving travel period is getting underway. On Friday, the Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2.2 million airport travelers across the country — the highest checkpoint volume for a single day since the pandemic began, according to a TSA spokesperson.
Departing planes halted after ‘accidental’ weapon discharge at Atlanta airport, officials say