A flight attendant on a plane at Fort Lauderdale-International Airport on Friday said its pilot stood guard at the jet door after all the passengers had boarded and authorities were searching for a gunman who killed five people and wounded eight others.
The flight attendant, who asked not to be identified, said she heard from others at the scene that the gunman had shot at least some of his victims in the head.
The pilot, who worked for American Airlines, had the rank Federal Flight Deck Officer — a rank on the level of an air marshal — and was authorized to carry a gun, the flight attendant said.
Trying to put them in a safe place, airport flight agents had sent everyone down the ramp to the plane and shut the jet bridge door, the attendant said.
People were all over the tarmac outside the plane as they were evaucated from terminals at the airport, the attendant said. SWAT teams milled around the tarmac, guns drawn.