A 37-year-old Nigerian woman based in the USA caused a commotion when she fired several rounds inside Dallas Love Field Airport in Texas. The woman, later identified as Portia Odufuwa, was consequently shot and injured by a police officer before being taken into custody.
No other injuries were reported, the police said, but the shooting, on Monday, sent travelers scrambling for cover and delayed several flights.
The woman was dropped off at the airport just before 11 a.m. and appeared to change her clothes in a restroom before emerging and opening fire inside the airport, Chief Eddie Garcia of the Dallas Police Department said at a news conference on Monday afternoon.
A Dallas police officer inside the airport shot her, striking her “in the lower extremities,” and she was arrested and taken to a hospital, Chief Garcia said. Her condition was not immediately clear on Monday afternoon.
It was unclear whom or what the woman was aiming at when she fired. Chief Garcia said that the officer fired several rounds at her after she began shooting.
In a later update, the Police Department identified the woman as Portia Odufuwa and said that she had fired a weapon several times in a ticket counter area of the airport.
Ms. Odufuwa was accused of falsely reporting a fire in Dallas County in April 2021. That June, a judge ruled that she was unable to consult with her lawyer and incompetent to stand trial, but not a danger to others, according to court records.
The judge ordered Ms. Odufuwa to attend “psychosocial counseling” and live in housing arranged by a health care provider.
The shooting on Monday came after a series of high-profile shootings in public spaces, including at a grocery store in New York in May, an elementary school in Texas in May, and a Fourth of July celebration in Illinois.
Lanasha Darnell, 43, of Forney, Texas, who has worked at the airport since 2020, said that she saw people running through the terminal.
“We have drills on evacuation and where we’re supposed to go to, but in the middle of it, that’s all out the window,” Ms. Darnell said.
Travelers scrambled into shops and restaurants, hiding in kitchens and behind furniture. Joe Castronovo III, who had flown from Orlando, Fla., on business, said he stepped off the Jetway and into the terminal and “saw people running” as travelers tried to find cover.
Mr. Castronovo’s father, Joe Castronovo Jr., arrived at the terminal to pick up his son as the chaotic scene was unfolding.
“I pulled up and saw a woman screaming and running away from the building,” the older Mr. Castronovo, of Highland Park, Texas, said. “We got scared something was wrong. Workers were coming out and telling people to hide.”
Chief Max Geron of the Police Department in Rockwall, Texas, east of Dallas, said on Twitter that he was evacuated from Love Field “after an apparent shooting.”
“Family is safe,” he said. “TSA did a great job.”
Love Field Airport said in a statement that the shooting had prompted an evacuation and a shelter-in-place order while the police responded.
The airport said on Twitter that its flight operations were suspended while the Dallas Police Department investigated, but it later announced that its operations had resumed. The airport was still encouraging passengers to check with their airlines for flight information. (Adapted from a New York Time report)