Police have arrested an alleged gunman at Canberra Airport after shots were fired this afternoon, sparking an immediate lockdown and evacuation of the facility.
Reports started appearing on social media just before 2 pm (14 August) about shots being fired including a video posted on Canberra Notice Board’s Facebook page showing a person being apprehended by police in the departures area.
It shows two officers holding the person down on the floor, as people look on from a distance.
Witness Tom Warry from Captains Flat posted: “So basically a man with a revolver shot a few rounds into the airport windows. I watched it happen and called 000. Unreal.”
Police said that a total of five shots were fired.
Singer-songwriter John Schumann was in the Qantas lounge when the incident occurred.
“We just got evacuated, we came downstairs and nobody knew what had gone on,” he told Region.
It appeared that that a gun had been fired near the Qantas check-in area, down near the Jetstar end.
Mr Schumann said the window had been hit three times but did not shatter.
“Everybody’s got turfed out and we’ve been outside,” he said.
Planes were kept on the tarmac and passengers were not allowed to disembark.
An ACT Policing statement said that about 1:30 pm police were called to the Airport after reports of gunshots in the main terminal building.
It said that soon after one person was taken into custody and a firearm recovered.
“CCTV has been reviewed and at this time the person in custody is believed to be the only person responsible for this incident,” police said.
The Canberra Airport terminal was evacuated as a precaution and the situation at the airport contained.
There had been no reported injuries.
Acting Superintendent Dave Craft said later that the man had sat in one of the areas adjacent to glass windows and after about five minutes took out a gun and let off five rounds directed at the windows.
He said no shots were directed at people, passengers or staff.
The man, believed to have acted alone, had not gone through flight security screening and police had no idea what his motivation was.
Acting Superintendent Craft said he was now in custody at the City Police Station.
“Police have processed the crime scene and looking to secure the area to enable passengers that are on arriving flights to exit the airport,” he said.
“I just need to reassure people that the airport is safe, that ACT Policing have responded and there is no ongoing threat to the community or to passengers arriving and departing.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the AFP had briefed him on the situation and that there was no ongoing threat.
Canberra Airport said just before 5 pm that it had now resumed normal operations.