HOUSTON — A gunman walked into Bush Intercontinental Airport with an AR-15 and a handgun Thursday and fired at least two shots before shooting himself. It happened in the ticket area inside Terminal B around 1:35 p.m.
He left behind a suicide note that said he had a "monster within" and wanted the cops to take care of it.
The identity of the suspect hasn't been released, but police say he was a 29-year-old resident of Beaumont. He had been staying in a Houston hotel the last few days.
A McDonald’s employee who works at the airport saw the whole thing.
"As soon as he walked in, he just automatically started shooting quickly," said the employee named Kendra Carrizales. "And we hear two shots and we just automatically started running. We ran all the way to the back."
A Homeland Security special agent heard the gunfire and confronted the suspect. He fired at the suspect at the same time the man shot himself in the head, according to HPD.
"We just saw the dude walking in, and he was already suicidal because he put the gun to his head," Carrizales said.
The suspect was taken away in an ambulance, but he didn't survive.
No one else was injured. But passengers and employees were shaken by the shooting.
"It was traumatic it really was, it was too much going on. Everybody was running, and all that stuff, it was a lot going on," Carrizales said.
Dale Howard, who was at the airport to pick up his sister for a family funeral, was on the lower level when the chaos erupted.
“Right off the bat, there were two shots, about an eight to 10-second delay, two more shots, a short delay, then a fifth shot,” he said.
After that, people were running in panic.
“There was a bunch of screaming, a bunch of people running, people coming down the escalator the wrong way getting away from it, leaving their bags on the thing," Howard said.
Terminal B was closed for more than three hours while police investigated the shooting scene. They found one bullet hole in the ceiling.
They also found the suspect's white pickup truck parked outside the terminal. It was searched and towed away.
Bomb-sniffing dogs swept the terminal as a precaution.
The FBI is assisting with the investigation.