A federal agent was struck in the heel while trying to catch their gun after it was knocked out of its holster and discharged Tuesday morning inside Orlando International Airport, police said.
- Federal agent was flying armed
- Agent knocked gun out of its holster
- Weapon discharged when agent tried to catch it
- Agent was struck in the heel with a bullet; no other injuries
At about 11:20 a.m., the federal agent — who was going to be flying armed — approached the east checkpoint inside the airport.
While unslinging a shoulder bag, the bag caught on the agent's holstered weapon. While the weapon was falling, the agent tried to catch the firearm and inadvertently pulled the trigger, according to an Orlando Police statement.
A bullet hit the agent in the heel. The bullet was recovered a few feet away.
Jenny Fulks, who was flying to Denver, said she heard an extremely loud pop that echoed throughout the area.
"I had feelings of fear and immediately started thinking of terrorists attacks," Fulks said. "I mean, we're at an international airport, so those are the types of thoughts going through my mind. I think that my fears were eased, seeing that other people were not panicking, running. And I believe if they would have seen someone with an actual gun, you probably would have seen more of that,” she said.
No one other than the agent was injured. There was no disruption to airport operations, police said.
“I feel safer knowing that there are people who are supposed to be trained having guns in the area, because they probably do more good than harm. But it's definitely scary to think that that could have flown and hit someone else, you know, an innocent bystander or whatnot,” Fulks said.
The Orlando Sentinel reports law enforcement at the scene said the agent is an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent from Kansas City and was on vacation.
Federal law enforcement officers are allowed to carry firearms any time they fly, according to a Transportation Securty Administration spokeswoman. Local, county and state officers can only carry a firearm when they fly while in the course of official duty, such as a prisoner escort, she said.
No other information was released.