Momentary chaos ensued when a man at Seatac Airport allegedly yelled out that someone had a gun, and an Aberdeen man helped wrestle him down and hold him until security arrived.
Derek Abad, a crab fisherman, was waiting for his flight to Alaska in the airport terminal on Monday, when a man stood up and extended his arm out.
“He yelled out, ‘He’s got a gun!’ and everyone took off running,” said Abad, who said he also heard the man yell “Shots fired!”
Perry Cooper, Sea-Tac Airport’s media contact, said the man had gotten into an argument with someone else at the gate before causing the commotion.
Abad described the scene as “pandemonium” as people fled.
“There were people going over each other, smashed up against the windows, trying to load onto the planes,” he said. “They were ferrying people inside.”
When Abad didn’t hear any gunshots, he looked up to see the man who yelled running away, and another man running after him.
“Once I saw him running, I thought, ‘I’m going to get this guy, too,’ because (the other bystander) shouldn’t go into it by himself,” he said.
Abad then chased after him as well. The first man chasing him caught up, and tackled the man to the ground, but he quickly jumped back up, Abad said.
“He was crying, saying he had asthma or whatever, so he quit fighting for a second, but then quickly sat up.”
After getting up, Abad pushed the man back onto the ground, where he then held him down for a few minutes while waiting for police to arrive.
“I grabbed him, threw him back down on the ground, and we had to hold him there.”
Eventually, Port of Seattle Police officers arrived and arrested the man. No gun was found on him.
Abad said he noticed the man holding a plastic bag in his hand, and thinks he may have popped it to simulate a gunshot sound when he yelled.
“He pointed, said, ‘He has a gun,’ then he must have popped the bag before yelling, ‘Shots fired.’”
Perry was not informed by police why the man had gotten into an argument, and Abad said he thought the suspect did not seem to be in good condition.
“I don’t know if he was mentally not stable, or on drugs,” said Abad. “He stunk like something, I don’t know what it was.”
After getting on the plane, Abad said several passengers offered him free snacks as thanks.