Atlanta airport authorities issued an arrest warrant for a gun owner who fled after his weapon accidentally went off, causing huge delays in flights amid the busy Thanksgiving period.
Authorities have named the suspect as Kenny Wells, a forty-two year old convicted felon.
Three people sustained non-life-threatening injuries while crowds of passengers had to wait long hours to be cleared at security.
Robert Spinden, the Federal Security Director with the Transportation Security Administration, said airport operations have since returned to normal.
"A passenger submitted his accessible property for X-Ray screening at our main security checkpoint. During the screening process, a prohibited item was detected inside of his property."
"The passenger lunged into his property, grabbing a firearm that was located inside, which ultimately discharged. The passenger then fled the security checkpoint through an adjacent exit lane with his firearm. We're fortunate that when the firearm went off nobody was seriously injured."
According to the TSA, a record number of firearms were seized at U.S. airport checkpoints in the first nine months of 2021.
Officers have stopped more than 4 thousand passengers from carrying firearms onto flights.
About 450 firearms were detected this year at airport checkpoints in Hartsfield-Jackson alone.