Man, 63, charged with alleged shooting at Canberra airport that shut down facility and stranded passengers for hours
- Man has been charged after allegedly firing five bullets at Canberra airport
- Police claim he sat on chairs at check-in and shot bullets into windows
- No one was injured in the incident and the airport was evacuated
A 63-year-old NSW man has been charged with multiple firearms offenses after a shooting at Canberra Airport on Sunday.
Police say the man arrived at the airport around 1:20 p.m. on Sunday and sat on chairs at the check-in counters before firing five bullets at windows.
No one was injured in the incident, but the airport was evacuated and remained closed for about three hours.
Footage posted to Facebook shows a man being detained by police at the airport after the alleged shooting
Images posted to social media show bullet holes in the hall windows (pictured) with reports suggesting the alleged gunman fired multiple shots at the glass
The man would not have gone through security.
Canberra airport was evacuated and police arrested the man, who he said acted alone.
He has been charged with firing a firearm at a building, unlawfully possessing a firearm and setting off a firearm near a person who raised the alarm.
He will appear on Monday before the Canberra Magistrates Court, where bail will be offered.
Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Detective Superintendent Dave Craft said police had “no idea” of the man’s motivation behind the alleged attack.
He said the man had not targeted passengers or staff and had not gone through flight screening procedures.
“I need to reassure people that the airport is safe, that ACT Policing has responded and that there is no ongoing threat to the community or to passengers arriving and departing,” he said.
Detective Craft said the man spent about five minutes in the departure lounge on floor two before allegedly firing five shots into airport windows.
The shooting caused a travel chaos with some passengers stranded on their plane while the alleged gunman was arrested.
More than a dozen police vehicles were stationed outside the airport and AFP agents guarded the building’s exterior
Cold travelers were allowed back to Canberra airport as operations resumed after Sunday afternoon shooting
Passengers on board inbound flights had to wait in the planes until about 3:30 p.m.
A passenger stranded on a plane tweeted: ‘Stuck in a plane on the tarmac while apparently there is a gunman at Canberra airport….what the hell is going on???’.
Flights resumed hours later with social media posts showing long queues at the airport as airlines rushed to clear the backlog of canceled and delayed flights.
ACT Policing urges witnesses who have not yet spoken to police to call Crimestoppers at 1800 333 000 and quote reference 7187298.