Deadly Shooting at Oklahoma City Airport: Police

The shooter was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to OKC NBC affiliate KFOR.

A Southwest Airlines employee was shot and killed Tuesday at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, the airline and police confirm.

Oklahoma City police responded at about 1 p.m. to reports of shots fired in the airport parking lot Tuesday afternoon.

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OKC Police Capt. Paco Balderrama said 52-year-old Michael Winchester sustained "life-threatening injuries" in the shooting and was rushed to the OU Medical Center where he died. Police said earlier they were searching for a possible second victim but no other victims were located.

The shooter, who has not been identified, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the back of a pickup truck, according to Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR.

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"The Southwest Airlines Family is deeply saddened by the passing of our Southwest Family Member, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies and support to his family and Southwest Co-workers at this time," the airline said in a statement, confirming Winchester's shooting death.

Winchester is a former University of Oklahoma football player whose son James Winchester is an NFL player with the Kansas City Chiefs, his agent confirmed on Twitter. James is a former punter for the Oklahoma Sooners.

"Our love and support is with James and the entire Winchester family. Our heartfelt thoughts & prayers are with you," the Kansas City Chiefs wrote in a tweet.

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Police and airport officials closed the complex about 1 p.m., diverting incoming flights and preventing those ready for takeoff from leaving. The airport handles between 7,000 and 8,000 passengers daily for Alaska, Delta, Southwest and United airlines and has a separate terminal that serves as a transfer center for federal inmates. A jet carrying inmates to the transfer site was allowed to land while the rest of the airport was shuttered.

One plane bound for Will Rogers airport was diverted to the Wiley Post Airport in the northwestern part of the city while two commercial flights from Chicago's O'Hare Airport were directed to Tulsa, about 100 miles away, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.

"There are going to be some delays for flights until we have further information," airport spokeswoman Karen Carney said. She referred other questions to police.

All streets were blocked off surrounding the airport and everyone should avoid the area, Balderrama said. Some people were allowed to leave the grounds after police checked their vehicles.

Carney said that police believe the shooting was an isolated incident, but that precautionary measures were still appropriate.

An airport spokesperson tweeted airlines have confirmed they will waive change fees for travelers rebooking flights related to the stoppage.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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