'Pops,' Then Chaos: Witnesses Describe Shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport | NBC Southern California
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'Pops,' Then Chaos: Witnesses Describe Shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A gunman opened fire inside a baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale Airport, killing five people and wounding others. (Published Friday, Jan. 6, 2017)

    John Schlicher had just pulled his first piece of luggage from the baggage carousel of Terminal 2  at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday when he started hearing "pops."

    "The person right next to me fell to the ground," Schlicher, who had flown to Fort Lauderdale from Columbus, Ohio, told NBC News in a phone interview. "I turned around and a man with a black gun was right behind me and he started shooting randomly."

    Schlicher survived the mid-day attack at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that officials said left five dead and eight wounded.

    "My wife and mother in law were traveling with me. Luckily none of us were injured," Schlicher said. "The two people to my left and the two people to my right were shot. There was blood everywhere. The people who were shot were shot in the head."

    Schlicher said there appeared to be only one gunman and he looked like he was in his 30s.

    "It's tragic. Just a horrible, horrible tragic scene. He was just randomly shooting at people," he said.

    RAW: Aerial Footage of People Lined Up During Active Shooter Situation

    [NATL-MI] RAW: Aerial Footage of People Lined Up During Active Shooter Situation
    Chopper 6 footage shows dozens of people lined up with their hands up near the train tracks outside airport during active shooter situation at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Int'l Aiport.
    (Published Friday, Jan. 6, 2017)

    Others who were in the baggage area and other parts of the airport said it was pure chaos.

    "It was like pop, pop, pop, pop, several. Then the herd of people just came running and at first you didn't know which way to go," said Debra Fugleberg. "Half my family was gone, and then they said lay down on the floor, I just did it."

    "Everyone was running, TSA officers said 'run, run' and there was a loose shooter," Christian Cardozo said.