Montco man left stranded at LAX amid chaos

Action News spoke to a Montgomery County man who was waiting for his flight in Terminal 3 at LAX when the chaos erupted.
November 3, 2013 8:26:44 PM PST
Action News spoke to a Montgomery County man who was waiting for his flight at LAX when the shooting and chaos erupted.

Frank Weise, of Bryn Mawr, was in Terminal 3 at LAX waiting to catch a Virgin America flight back home around 9:20 Friday morning.

"Suddenly there were TSA agents running towards our gate," said Weise.

All of a sudden chaos broke out.

"TSA people were yelling, 'Run, Run Run!' and then a woman, I remember her distinctly saying, 'He's got a gun, he's got a gun, he's got a gun.' And then you heard three or four bangs, really loud bangs. I dropped my lap top and just joined the mass exodus," said Weise.

Weise says it was a mad scene with some people running onto the tarmac in complete and utter fear.

"And the baggage handlers, to their credit, they immediately screamed, 'No, no, stop and comeback!' And they went running after the group because there were literally airplanes driving back and forth," said Weise.

Weise shot cell phone video of a large building where he and 2,000 other passengers were rounded up and kept for most of the day as the investigation carried on.

The stranded passengers shared cell phone chargers with each other along with the limited number of power outlets in the building, all while trying to keep informed.

"You formed a lot of friendships while you were in that terminal for those 7-8 hours," said Weise.

Weise ended up having to sleep at the airport because he had left his wallet, briefcase and laptop behind. Authorities were not allowing anyone to retrieve the mountains of luggage and other belongings that were left behind.

"That was one of the frustrating things is that nobody could tell us when we might get our belongings back," said Weise.

Finally on Saturday, around 11:00 a.m., people were allowed to get their things.

Weise was able to make it home from LAX just before 10:00 p.m Saturday night, with an experience that he'll not soon forget.

"Quite an experience yea, it was a crazy 36 hours," said Weise.

Weise says it could have been a lot worse for him. He's come home now to a nice family and a comfortable bed.

The real tragedy, he says, is that a TSA agent, who was also a father and husband, didn't make it home from work on Friday.


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