Eastern Iowa Airport Travelers React to LAX Shooting

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The shooting at an L.A. airport rattled some nearly 1,800 miles away at the Eastern Iowa Airport, Friday, leaving them thinking about their security.

The shooting happened in the morning at Los Angeles International Airport when a gunman opened fire at a security checkpoint. Authorities said the suspect is a 23-year-old New Jersey man, Paul Ciancia, who wrote a rant about killing TSA workers. One TSA officer was killed, at least three other people wounded.

"It can happen anywhere. Never say never, whether it's here in Iowa, New York, Dallas, California," said Dennis Beidler, who was waiting to pick up children at the Cedar Rapids Airport.

"It's nerve wracking, it is. Are we ever going to be able to fly safely again?" said Beth Tjelle, who was on her way to Orlando.

Other local travelers were pointing figures. Some said incidents like LAX's could have been prevented by stricter gun control laws.

"I don't know how they're going to go about getting everybody to agree with it, but I think we really need it," said Susanne Riker.

Officials at the Eastern Iowa Airport said they've never had an incident like LAX's, however local TSA officers recently confiscated weapons from travelers. In April, the TSA found a knife zip-tied to a luggage handle, then in September a loaded handgun hidden under the lining of a carry-on bag.

"Our hearts go out to those at LAX," said Heather Wilson, the Eastern Iowa's communication director.

Wilson said the airport has a sturdy security plan and despite the recent shooting, they remain confident in it.

"One of the safest things we can do is have a very strong security plan in place, regardless of what is happening nationally or internationally. So, when something like this happens we don't have to stop and question ourselves," said Wilson.

Wilson said she didn't expect any of the Eastern Iowa Airport's flights to be delayed, even though many were at airports across the US when LAX went into lock down.
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