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ATLANTA — Police are searching for a passenger they say ran from the Atlanta airport after a gun inside his bag discharged at the security checkpoint.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport said there was no active shooter but a weapon accidentally discharged around 1:30 p.m. at the screening area. The gunshot turned into chaos as other passengers ran for cover.

The Transportation Security Administration said an agent began a bag search due to a prohibited item being identified by an X-Ray.

The agent told the passenger not to touch the bag but when the agent opened it, the passenger lunged into the bag. That is when the gun accidentally discharged, according to TSA.

The passenger ran from the area and out of the airport exit. Atlanta police identified him as 42-year-old Kenny Wells and issued warrants for his arrest.

He is facing charges of carrying concealed weapon in a commercial airport, possession of firearm by a convicted felon, discharging of a firearm and reckless conduct.

Channel 2 Action News viewers at the airport called to report that they are stuck on the tarmac or in baggage claim unable to move for hours.

The all-clear was given two hours later around 3:30 p.m. and operations are returning to normal.


Officials said there were reports of three people with injuries, but none of them happened at the location where the gun went off.

Channel 2 reached out to airlines that fly out of Hartsfield Jackson.

Southwest Airlines said their flights have been allowed to land but the passengers are being held at the terminal. Delta is offering their passengers a travel waiver.

MARTA says it suspended its rail service at the airport and that southbound service would end at College Park station. Normal operations resumed just after 5 p.m.


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