Security Heightened At LAX In Wake Of Deadly Shooting At Florida Airport

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Security was increased at Los Angeles International Airport Friday following a deadly shooting that occurred at an airport in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

“We have heard nothing that would indicate a threat to L.A. or our airport,” Los Angeles Airport Police Chief David Maggard said at an afternoon briefing at LAX.

Still, Maggard said airport police were “closely monitoring the situation” in Florida that left five people dead and eight others wounded after a gunman opened fire in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 — which serves Delta Air Lines and Air Canada — at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

There were a total of 12 arriving and departing flights scheduled between LAX and FLL today, some of which have been delayed as a result of the shooting.

Passengers were advised to check with airlines before traveling to the airport.

Airport police notified the public about additional security measures on Twitter.

Flights bound for Fort Lauderdale were diverted to other airports and numerous flights, including some from LAX, were canceled or delayed.

Airport officials urged passengers to check with their airlines to determine the status of flights.

Security was also beefed up at John Wayne and Bob Hope Airports.

At LAX Friday evening, CBS2’s Rachel Kim said the increased security was obvious — more K-9 units, more officers on motorcycles, more on patrol.

Still, some travelers admitted to having rattled nerves.

“Thinking about it, upset, some people are dead and some people are injured,” said Mona Nakib who was headed back to Ft. Lauderdale.

Kim also spoke to Ron Hosko, a former assistant director of the FBI. As secure as LAX is, Hosko says there are s0-called soft targets — like ticket buying lines and baggage claim that are harder to secure.

“One of the great challenges of a soft target is it’s like squeezing a balloon. And when I tighten up security in one place, the balloon expands somewhere else and presents itself as another soft target,” Hosko said.

Hosko says securing areas like baggage claim in every US airport would be a multi-billion dollar investment. Bottom line, he says we have to put this in a broader perspective.

“You’re more lilkely to die in a car accident on your way home than be in a terrorist strike at a US airport,” Hosko says.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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