PREVIOUS UPDATE, FRIDAY PM: Cable news networks exercised extreme caution covering the shootout at LAX this morning when a gunman opened fire with a high-powered rifle at a security area and made his way deep into Terminal 3 before being wounded and apprehended — a shooting that left one TSA agent dead, and actors and network execs reporting for news operations.
In the cable news First To Bulletin Race: Fox News Channel broke in first, at 12:42:43 PM ET, followed by CNN at 12:44:38 and MSNBC 12:46:34 to cover the shooting that left injured seven — six of whom were sent to local hospitals, including the gunman, who was shot multiple times in the chest by an LAPD officer.
James Franco was on the scene — of course he was — though stuck in a plane at LAX. “At #lax Some S**tbag shot up the place” he tweeted, also Instagramming a pic of himself stuck on the plane. Tim Daly called in to CNN and delivered one of the most colorful initial reports from the scene. He’d been in a VIP lounge at Terminal 3 when the gunman was wounded and apprehended very nearby, in the vicinity of Gate 35, he said. Very quickly after the shooting “The LAPD burst into the lounge…weapons drawn, herding everybody together to make sure there were no bad guys in the lounge,” he described, noting that “having a gun pointed at you” in real life is a harrowing experience. He complimented authorities for doing “an outstanding job trying to keep people calm” and said he and others were locked in the lounge for “almost an hour” and when they were brought out, he saw a rifle and several clips on the ground about 30 feet away, as well as a blood and broken glass. Authorities told them to be careful not to disturb the blood or glass as they moved to the tunnel.
But Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters personality Tory Belleci is credited with breaking the new that something was up at LAX when he tweeted at 9:23 AM:”Something crazy is doing down at LAX. People running everywhere. We just got evacuated.” He and Mythbusters colleague Grant Imahara were in Terminal 3 at the time of the shooting, en route to Delaware for the filming of Discovery’s Punkin Chunkin. The two are tentatively booked to tell their stories to CNN’s Anderson Cooper tonight; Belleci was closer to the shooting, at Gate 33, while Imahara was also in the Virgin Airlines lounge. “During evac, I counted officers from Airport Police, LAPD, Homeland Security & other local PDs. All calm, all working together. Thanks guys!” Imahara tweeted about two hours after the gunfire.
AMC’s Lionsgate period drama Mad Men was the only thing filming at the airport today, according to officials at the LAX film office. The crew of about 20-30 had just completed the scene they were filming, at Terminal 4, before shooting occurred and, like many others at LAX, were held in limbo while authorities investigated the shooting. Only late this afternoon was the crew at the airport –able to get the last of their equipment out of the airport, and they had to literally walk it out – no trucks allowed.