Authorities said the gunman fired at several locations in Terminal 3 before police shot him. LAX police did not reveal his condition.
The motive was unclear. A federal law enforcement official said that the gunman was a ticketed passenger entering the airport.
Officials don’t believe the gunman has ever worked for TSA. Law enforcement sources had earlier told The Times that the gunman was a TSA employee.
Los Angeles Police Department anti-terrorism officials were on the scene, but sources said they believe the suspect acted alone and was not tied to any known terrorist group.
At a news conference, the Los Angeles Fire Department said it treated seven people at the scene and transported six to local hospitals.
Patrick Gannon, the LAX police chief, said the gunman entered Terminal 3 at 9:20 a.m. He pulled an assault rifle out of his bag and began firing. He moved into the screening area and continued shooting, Gannon said. He got past the checkpoint area and moved further into the terminal.
Authorities tracked him down and shot him near a Burger King.
Vernon Cardenas, 45, of West Hollywood said he was at the airport on his way to Philadelphia when the shooting occurred about 9:30 a.m..
“Sitting down, all of a sudden, literally just out of the blue, you hear a rumble in the background and a couple of seconds later, people are running at me,” said Cardenas, who does casting for the Fox television show “MasterChef.” He described the scene as “mayhem,” with couples crying and parents who couldn’t find their children.
Brian Adamick, 43, said he was boarding a Spirit Airlines flight to Chicago at Gate 32 in Terminal 3 when a commotion erupted.
He said people were running through the terminal, away from a security area. Adamick said he went through an emergency exit downstairs onto the tarmac with several other passengers.
“While I was on the tarmac, I heard two gunshots from the same area where the people had been running and screaming,” he said.
A few minutes after he got outside, he said buses showed up to help evacuate passengers. He said he saw a wounded TSA agent board one of the buses. The man’s ankle was bloody: “it looked like it was straight out of the movies,” Adamick said.
The man told him, “I got shot, I’m fine.” He told passengers not to worry about him and that he had been shot before, Adamick said.
A White House official said President Obama had been informed of the incident: “The President has been briefed about the shooting at LAX. We will continue to stay in touch with our federal and local partners. The LAPD is leading the response and investigation. We urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site. The president will continue to receive briefings throughout the day.”
Tory Belleci of the television show “Mythbusters” tweeted: “Heard gun shots then everyone starting running for the door. Not sure if anyone was hurt. #LAX.”
TV news footage showed dozens of officers swarming the airport. Images also showed a law enforcement officer being treated by paramedics. He appeared to be alert. Another officer had a bloody hand.