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Three Die in Shooting At Los Angeles Airport

BY Admin  July 4, 2002 at 5:52 PM EDT

The shooting occurred in the midst of heightened security measures sparked by fears of a possible terrorist attack during the July Fourth holiday.

Police said that shortly before noon, a gunman approached the El Al ticket desk and opened fire on a clerk. He then fired at other bystanders before being shot dead by an El Al security guard.

According to the FBI, investigators are still trying to confirm the shooter’s identity. Police questioned two people immediately following the shoot out but said they were not considered suspects.

FBI spokesman Matt McLaughlin told reporters that it was “too early to rule out anything” but that “there is no indication of any terrorism connection” thus far in the investigation.

In a press conference, Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn said there was no indication that the shooting was connected to terrorism and that it appeared to be an isolated incident.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Thursday that Israel would help the U.S. find those responsible for what Israeli officials were quick to call a “terrorist attack.”

In a statement, Peres praised “the quick response and courage of the Israeli security agents at the site” and added that he was “certain that Israeli and American security forces will succeed in searching for and capturing the organizers,” of the shooting.

El Al, Israel’s national airline, is known to have some of the tightest security in its industry. The airline said in a statement that it planned no changes to its operations due to the incident.

As a result of the shooting, much of the airport’s international terminal was closed and thousands of travelers evacuated.