FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A gunman opened fire at Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport Friday afternoon, killing at least five people before being taken into custody, authorities said.
Eight people were also wounded in the attack, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.
“I was dodging bullets and trying to help people get out of the way,” an eyewitness, Mark Lea, told NBC News.
The 53-year-old financial adviser from Minneapolis, was in the baggage claim when, he said, a man came in and started shooting.
“At first we thought it was firecrackers," he said. “Everyone started screaming and running. The shooter made his way down through baggage claim. He had what looked like a 9mm and emptied his entire clip. People were trying to run.”
The Broward County Sheriff's Office confirmed that multiple people have been killed in the attack. BSO officials said they received a call about the shooting around 12:55 p.m.
The shooting occurred at the baggage claim inside Terminal 2. Aerial footage showed a large crowd of people gathered outside on the tarmac.
Police officers responded less than a minute after the shooting began, Lea said. Once the shooter was out of bullets, “he was gunned down by police,” he said.
“It was absolutely surreal,” he said. “People were scared and frantically running to avoid being shot. People were tripping over each other. They were trying to make a fast exit out of the door.”
John Schlicher, who was in the baggage claim with his wife and mother-in-law told MSNBC the shooter "walked over and he was right in our area within feet from us shooting people.”
Schlicher, from Columbus, Ohio, described the gunman as a "slender man" with "dark hair.”
“I put my head down and prayed," Schlicher said.
He added that his wife "was holding a sweater up against a man who was shot in the head. She was doing her best to apply pressure to his wounds. The person right next to him was already gone."
The ATF said it's responding to the shooting to assist state and local officials. Florida Gov. Rick Scott was traveling to Fort Lauderdale to be briefed by law enforcement, his office said.
The airport has temporarily suspended all services at the airport. Miami International Airport has also announced they have added extra security after the incident.