HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Police say a man who had fired a gun inside a ticketing area at Houston's largest airport was killed after being confronted by a law enforcement official.
Houston police Capt. Dwayne Ready says it's unclear if the unidentified man fatally shot himself or was killed by a Homeland Security agent who had confronted him.
Ready says the agent confronted the gunman after the man had fired one shot into the air around 1:35 p.m. Thursday and had refused to drop his weapon. Ready says the agent fired at the gunman at the same time as it appeared he was shooting himself.
Dale Howard, of Tomball, was at the baggage handling area of the airport waiting for his sister to arrive on an incoming flight when he heard two shots fired from the floor above. A few seconds later, he said he heard three more shots.
"People were screaming. I knew exactly what it was — gunfire," Howard said.
Greg Newburn, who was in the terminal waiting for a flight to Oklahoma City, said he was sitting in a cafe area when he heard two gunshots and after a pause, several more.
"It seemed like quite a few shots. Everyone was scrambling, running left and running right, turning tables up and hiding behind tables," he said. "Nobody knew what was happening. I couldn't tell where the shots were coming from."
Newburn, from Gainesville, Fla., said it took him a few seconds to realize that the shots had come from the terminal ticketing area, near the security checkpoint, and that he didn't see who had fired the shots.
Officials say an autopsy will be conducted on Friday.
Airport officials say the terminal remains closed but the rest of the airport is still operating.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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