NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s new information on what caused a major scare at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday night.
Hundreds of people were evacuated following reports of shots fired at the airport. Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said no shots were fired.
Police sources tell CBS2 that surveillance cameras revealed there were patrons inside of the airport who started to act extremely disruptive after watching the Olympics, which subsequently caused others inside the airport to panic. This set off a chain reaction to all people inside the airport to run in fear of their safety.
Operations were back to normal Monday morning and Terminals 1 and 8 have re-opened following the scare.
Authorities called the evacuation an abundance of caution, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
Cellphone video from inside JFK Airport Sunday night shows fear spreading through the terminals when police responded to reports of an active shooter around 9:30 p.m.
The video shows travelers with their hands up and some ducking for cover while others ran to the tarmac for safety.
“I was inside the plane and they cancelled the flight and told everyone to get out,” traveler Riga Seakander said.
Operations were shut down for three hours, but normal activity resumed around 12:30 a.m. once police determined those reports were unfounded. Port Authority Police say they did not find any firearms, rounds of ammunition, shell casings or any evidence of gunfire.
No one was injured, but the false alarm preyed on fears of hundreds who are now happy to have left safely.
“Everyone just pushed their way in and that’s when Port Authority came in with all these guns — very scary,” one traveler said.
Passengers were still feeling the ripple effect of those delays Monday morning. Parents picking up their their children from the airport arrived anxious.
“My daughters on that flight so I am worried I just want to make sure they get here get out of here and go fast,” parent Timothy McConneghey said.
All the terminals are now back open and there were no reported injuries Sunday night.
CBS2’s Raegan Medgie reported passengers weren’t informed what was going on.
“Maybe they should have announcements or let everyone know in case of emergency — use this terminal, use these exits,” said Cheryl Wright of North Carolina.
Mazen Maarouf of Ohio said, “A mass text message to everybody to make aware something is going on.”
Former NYPD Sgt. Manny Gomez said the hundreds of people did the right thing and got out of the airport terminal, but he said what they should have done was keep moving.
“You have to think about your own safety — forget about your luggage, your flight, forget everything — just get as far away from that terminal as possible,” said Gomez of MG Security Services.
Gomez continued, “My only remark would be moving forward, they have to have a better plan on what to do with these people to inform them, keep them away, to try and get them away from the terminal if God forbid there’s a bomber with a package we potentially see here, multiple people aren’t hurt and killed.”
The Port Authority is still investigating the root of the false reports.