Jamaican Woman speaks on her experience in the Fort Lauderdale massacre!
KINGSTON, Jamaica — “Surreal” was the only word that Jamaican April Weise could use to describe the horrific shooting incident at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Airport in Florida Friday afternoon.
Media reports on the shooting are that five people were confirmed dead and 14 wounded.
Despite a suspect being in custody, the dire situation is not over for employees and passengers, as at 6:10 pm Friday the airport was under lockdown.
When contacted by OBSERVER ONLINE, Weise, who is employed at the airport, said that everyone had been evacuated from the terminals and rushed onto the tarmac to await an update. They were eventually cleared to leave the airport.
“Right now everybody is out on the ramps; we have been evacuated from the terminals.Literally, people were running around on the ramps, running from whatever the direction the shootings were coming from.
“Nobody has really updated us on anything except the people outside of the airports and my friends who are updating me on what’s going on. From what I’m hearing and witnessing, there are several shooters,” Weise said.
However, unconfirmed US media reports are that there was only one shooter, a 26-year-old army veteran who travelled on a Delta flight from Alaska. Reports are that the man only stopped shooting when he ran out of bullets.
Recounting her experience, Weise said: “When I came to work there were tons of sirens and I was like, okay, I don’t see the people I usually say ‘hi’ to.
“One of my co-workers was telling me to be careful, they have gunmen over at Delta [terminal],” Weise added.
“My co-worker and I were sitting down in the operations room and we heard, boom, boom, boom!”
She said she initially thought it was an earthquake.
“A friend was calling me to let me know that there was another shooter, everyone had to evacuate immediately. People, passengers were running on the ramp, which is a sterile area.
“[Normally] we are not allowed on the ramp unless we are working and have on certain safety clothing, like vests and stuff. Everyone was running; we were hiding in bag carts.”
Eventually coming out of the bag carts, Weise said that they started following their supervisors, or whomever they believed to be safe, who sguided them through the airport.
“[At one point] I saw a lot of BSO men [Broward Sheriff’s Office] with guns, so we moved from that direction and walked all the way over to Southwest [Airlines] at Terminal One.
“I had one of my friends from JetBlue texting that they have a shooter over there and they’re hiding. Another employee in the employee parking lot was stuck and she was hiding in her car because they weren’t allowing anyone into the employee parking lot, and they weren’t letting anyone out.
“Another co-worker, who was at the gate, was like Oh my God, oh my God, we have to run.”