Santa Clarita Valley native Brianna Arguello was just one of thousands who was affected in the aftermath after a single gunman opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport Friday.
Arguello was returning to Santa Clarita to visit her family while on break from school in Michigan.
Arguello and the other passengers on her layover from Denver were told they would arrive at LAX earlier than was previously expected, but that changed when the flight crew heard about the gunman.
“We instantly saw the cops on the tarmac,” Arguello said. “We were told that we would stay in the plane due to an incident in the airport … so someone searched on the phone what had happened and told some of the passengers.”
Despite being conscious of the gunman and his victims, Arguello said the passengers on her plane were “all pretty calm.”
“We were evacuated by shuttle to Tom Bradley Terminal, where we were told the details of the shooting. I think I should be crazy to not be a little scared … but I (knew LAX officials) were doing everything to make sure we were all safe.”
Despite there being a history of attacks at airports, Arguello trusted that LAX airport security would be able to keep travelers safe and were well-trained to handle any emergency situation.
The gunman, Paul Ciancia, informed investigators that he acted alone in the shooting, before being taken to the hospital in a critical condition.
Ciancia opened fire in Terminal 3, which resulted in the death of a Transportation Security Administration officer, and the injury of four others.
Although Arguello was on a plane and not in the airport at the time of the open fire, she was thankful for the rapid response time by emergency personnel.
“I think for the most part we knew that they got the situation under control relatively quickly,” Arguello said, “but we were lucky that we were not in Terminal 3 at the time of the shooting and thanking God for that.”