Reports of a gunman opening fire that turned out to be false caused panicked evacuations at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday night, while flights to and from the airport saw major delays, the AP reports. A search through terminals brought no evidence of a gunman or shots fired, LAPD spokesman Andy Neiman says. The reports were spurred by loud noises only, and police were still investigating to find the source of them, he adds. Airport officials said that a person wearing a Zorro costume was detained during the incident, but it wasn't yet clear whether the person had any connection to the evacuation.
The incident stirred chaos as hundreds of people rushed from terminals on to sidewalks or the tarmac. And it left a mess with three terminals shut down, roads closed, and flights held in the air and on the ground. Passengers who fled had to be rescreened through security. When the incident began, scores of people could be seen on social media and on TV news running from the terminal out on to the sidewalks and streets as police with rifles out stormed terminals. Many other evacuees were standing on the airport tarmac, and abandoned bags littered some sidewalks. (A similar panic at New York's JFK Airport earlier this month may have been caused by noisy Olympics viewers.)