The father of a Kansas City Chiefs player has been identified as the victim killed in a shooting at an Oklahoma airport Tuesday.
Michael Winchester, 52, was a Southwest Airlines employee and the father of James Winchester, a long snapper with the Kansas City Chiefs. Michael Winchester was killed Tuesday in a shooting at Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport, KOCO reports.
The shooting happened at 1 p.m. local time. The Los Angeles Times reports that the shooting was planned, and that the unidentified shooter lay in wait outside the airport before shooting and killing Michael Winchester, who was shot as he walked between a crowded terminal and the employee parking lot.
The suspected shooter was later found dead in a pickup truck parked in a public parking garage overlooking the scene where the shooting occurred, authorities said. The Times reports that police said the suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Paco Balderrama told the Times that the shooter knew the victim’s schedule and routine.
“This individual went there and waited for the employee to either be coming or going to take this opportunity,” Balderrama said.
The early-afternoon shooting put the airport on high alert. Police closed the complex and advised passengers inside to take cover. Incoming flights were diverted, and flights already on the tarmac were held on the ground.
"We have a heightened level of security all the time. These people have access to aircraft so we're very concerned about that," airport spokeswoman Karen Carney said.
Southwest Airlines canceled all remaining flights for the day and said in a statement,”It is with great sorrow that Southwest Airlines confirms that a Southwest employee who was injured during a shooting incident today at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City has died from injuries.”
The Times reports that hundreds of people were stranded in the airport for more than three hours, and about 300 people who were on flights that landed ahead of the ground stop were held on their planes until the all-clear was issued.
The Kansas City Chiefs tweeted their support for their teammate James Winchester, saying, “Our heartfelt thoughts & prayers are with you.”