Rhode Island airport lockdown lifted after report of possible shooter

‘Law enforcement has determined there is no credible security threat’ at parking garage, police said

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 01 September 2023 13:52 EDT
<p>Police respond to possible ‘security threat’ at Rhode Island TF Green International Airport</p>

Police respond to possible ‘security threat’ at Rhode Island TF Green International Airport

A lockdown at Rhode Island TF Green International Airport has been lifted after a call reporting a man with a rifle in a parking garage was determined to be unfounded.

“Law enforcement has determined there is no credible security threat at R.I. T.F. Green International Airport. RIAC has lifted the precautionary airport lockdown,” the airport wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Friday afternoon. “Travelers are asked to check with their airlines regarding potential delays.”

The airport wrote on X on Friday morning: “Rhode Island T.F. Green Airport is currently in lockdown as law enforcement addresses a potential security threat. Travelers are asked to delay arrivals at the airport at this time. More information will be provided when available.”

Both state and local police responded to the airport, according to WPRI.

“We received a call of a possible threat at the airport, multiple agencies are investigating now and conducting a search of the parking lots,” Warwick Police Chief Bradford Connor told the TV station before the threat was determined to be unfounded.

State police added that troopers established a perimeter surrounding a parking garage, adding that a Warwick SWAT team worked on clearing the building.

“Preliminary, what we have is the call came into Warwick police about a potential suspect with a rifle,” state police Col Darnell Weaver said, according to WPRI. “They responded to the area, it was isolated to the parking garage, not the actual terminal.”

Police told travellers that the airport was closed and that they blocked the entrances.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation said that all travel lanes going towards TF Green on the airport connector were also closed.

WJAR reporter Joanna Bouras tweeted earlier on Friday: “Warwick Police, airport police, and Rhode Island State police are actively investigating at TF Green airport ... several people are sitting across the street on Post Rd. waiting for information on their flights.”

“The Warwick Officer in Charge tells me someone called the police department saying they have a rifle and then hung up ... they tell me they have not confirmed whether or not it’s true,” she added at the time.

The caller said there was a man with a gun in a parking garage, prompting the arrival of the SWAT team.

Floridian Robert Souza told WPRI: “We were actually trying to get out of our hotel, trying to get an Uber, but couldn’t. The roads blocked off from both ways, couldn’t get in.”

“I couldn’t get off the Airport Connector to the airport, so I went onto Post Road and there are cops everywhere and just couldn’t get through,” Mary Lou Medeiros told the station. “Nobody knew what was going on initially, and there were two cops here and they said it was a security issue.”

WPRI reporter Tim White tweeted before the all-clear was given that “flights going into TF Green have been diverted to other airports after caller claims person with a gun was spotted in an airport parking garage. So far it’s unfounded”.

“Police urge you to avoid area as roads to the airport are closed,” he added at the time.

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