Dallas Police Shoot Armed Woman After Several Shots Fired Inside Love Field

July 26, 2022
Dallas police wounded a woman who opened fire inside Dallas Love Field late Monday morning, suspending operations at the airport for hours.

DALLAS — Dallas police wounded a woman who opened fire inside Dallas Love Field late Monday morning, suspending operations at the airport for hours.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie García said 37-year-old Portia Odufuwa was dropped off at the airport about 11 a.m., where she went inside the bathroom and came out wearing a hoodie. García said Odufuwa then pulled out a gun near the ticket counter area — before the security checkpoint — aimed it toward the ceiling and fired several times.

An officer shot Odufuwa in her “lower extremities,” García said. She was taken into custody and then to the hospital. City Council member Jesse Moreno, who represents the area where the airport is located, said in a statement that Odufuwa was stable.

No one else was injured, police said.

“I’m thankful to the Dallas police department, (the Transportation Security Administration) and the dedicated Love Field staff for their swift response in keeping people safe,” Moreno said in the statement. “This is something they do every day for people who travel to and from Dallas.”

The FBI Dallas Division and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting in the investigation.

The shooter

Odufuwa has a history of arrests, and an arson case against her, some of which were dismissed after she was found incompetent to stand trial, according to court records. It was unclear Monday what mental health diagnoses led to Odufuwa being found incompetent to stand trial.

Other charges included robbery, criminal trespass and false reporting — all filed in cities across North Texas over the past several years.

The arson case, the most serious of those against her, stemmed from an incident in Mesquite in October 2019, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit. Officers found Odufuwa watching a house she previously lived in burn.

Odufuwa told police she intentionally set the house on fire. When asked why, the affidavit said Odufuwa responded, “I am God’s prophet, and I need an attorney, but I’m basically letting you all know that I am the cause of this fire.”

The Dallas County District Attorney’s office rejected the arson case because of a lack of scientific evidence, District Attorney John Creuzot said.

A ‘stampede’ after gunfire

Karen Warner was checking in for a noon flight to Kansas City, where she was supposed to visit her mother, who is in hospice. Warner told The Dallas Morning News she heard a loud argument about 20 feet behind her, followed by a gunshot.

Then she started running.

“I heard about 10 more shots while I was running away,” Warner said while waiting outside the terminal. She wasn’t able to tell what the argument was about.

By about 11:45 a.m., hundreds of passengers were waiting outside of the terminal, with police officers interviewing witnesses and directing traffic. Several police cars were staged in the traffic loop in front of the terminal, and police officers in tactical gear helped direct traffic.

Rockwall police Chief Max Geron, who was at the airport, heard the gunshots and said, by text message, security sequestered his family inside a room until they were told it was safe. By about 12:20 p.m., he said the flurry calmed down. People were then let back into the building and awaited instructions from authorities.

In a tweet, the chief commended airport security, writing, “Just got evacuated out of Love Field after an apparent shooting. Family is safe. TSA did a great job.”

Kyle Mitchell had just gotten off a flight from Denver and was walking toward baggage claim when he saw what he described as a “stampede of people” running toward the airport entrance.

Mitchell said he was impressed by how police reacted and handled the confusion.

The chaos took Mitchell by surprise, but asked whether he expected to ever be caught in a rush of people fleeing the sound of gunfire, he shrugged his shoulders.

“Evil (expletive) happens in the world,” Mitchell said. “You can’t stop it. The only thing you can do is prepare for it.”

Roger and Joan Chamberlain were waiting at their gate for a flight to Las Vegas before connecting to Eugene, Ore., when people started running from the pre-security area just before 11 a.m.

Eventually their flight was canceled and police cleared the terminal.

“We are just going home,” Roger Chamberlain said. “I don’t think there is any chance of getting out today.”

Airport reopens, flights impacted

Southwest Airlines paused flights in and out of the airport, and the Federal Aviation Administration stopped arriving and departing flights for several hours. The ground stop was lifted at 2:30 p.m., after passengers were evacuated from the terminal and some went home. Others had to go through security again before they could get back in the terminal.

“There’s no greater priority for us than the safety of our employees and customers, all of which are reportedly safe, and we’re deeply saddened for all involved and impacted,” Southwest Airlines spokesman Chris Perry said in a statement.

Operations at Love Field resumed about 3:30 p.m. As of 6 p.m. Monday, more than 105 flights arriving and departing the airport were canceled and dozens were delayed.

This was not the first instance of gunfire at the airport: In June 2016, a rock-wielding man was shot and wounded by police after he threw rocks and a traffic cone ex-girlfriend’s car outside the terminal.

Travelers who heard the gunshots panicked and some ran past a TSA checkpoint. Security ultimately removed everyone from the gate area and rescreened all passengers. Officials said it was believed to be the first shooting in the airport’s history.


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