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Police say killing of Southwest Airlines employee at El Paso International Airport wasn’t random act

UPDATE, Nov. 21: Investigators on Sunday revealed new details about the killing of a Southwest Airlines employee at El Paso International Airport, saying Friday night's attack wasn't a random act and reassuring travelers that the airport is safe.

Authorities also said they had now determined the 49-year-old victim wasn't killed during robbery, as first thought, and new information indicated his cause of his death wasn't from being shot as originally believed.

Police outlined the latest developments in a statement issued Sunday afternoon...

" The El Paso Police Department has received several calls asking about the safety of the airport. After Friday's incident, where a male was killed in the employee parking lot. The ongoing investigation by the Crimes Against Persons Unit has determined that this case was not a result of a robbery. In addition, no shooting took place. This crime occurred outside in a parking lot and never impacted the airport. The preliminary investigations suggest the victim and involved persons knew each other. Due to the ongoing investigation, the manner of death can not be released at this time. The Police Department does not believe this was a random act, and there is no immediate danger to the public or travelers."

UPDATE, Nov. 20: As of mid-morning Saturday, El Paso police said no arrests had been made and no one had been taken into custody for what they described as Friday's night "murder" at the airport following a robbery.

Investigators remained at the airport parking lot where the killing occurred and said they anticipated being there through the afternoon hours.

"The preliminary investigation indicates this is not a random incident, and there is no threat at the airport," said Officer Adrian Cisneros, an EPPD spokesman, in a statement.

Authorities were asking the community for help and urged anyone with information about the slaying to contact police at (915) 832-4400 or call Crime Stoppers with anonymous tips at (915) 566-8477.

ORIGINAL REPORT, Nov. 19: EL PASO, Texas -- An armed robbery led to a deadly shooting of an airline employee late Friday night in the long-term parking lot at El Paso International Airport during the start of the busy holiday travel season.

An El Paso police spokesman would only identify the “aggravated robbery” victim as a 49-year-old man and declined to discuss the cause of death.

However, Southwest Airlines confirmed later Saturday morning to ABC-7 that the victim was a Southwest Ground Operations employee who was shot to death in the employee portion of the lot while leaving work on Friday night.

"This is a heartbreaking, tragic loss for the Southwest Team, and we extend deepest sympathies to our colleague’s family, loved ones, and their extended Southwest Family. Southwest leadership is focused on supporting our employees while we offer our full support to the active investigation being conducted by local law enforcement," the airline said in a statement to ABC-7.

At least one robber was being sought, police said early Saturday, but added that there may be more suspects; no one was in custody, but authorities maintained there was no threat to the airport.

Police officials described the airport lot where the shooting occurred as a "very active" crime scene that would likely be closed through Saturday afternoon. A mobile command center was deployed at the airport along with numerous Crimes Against Persons detectives. ABC-7 also observed several people consoling each other near the area where the shooting occurred.

The incident unfolded as the airport was busier than usual due to an uptick in holiday travel. While the long term lot was closed, the short term parking lot and the main entrance to the terminal remained open.

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Comments

28 Comments

    1. In a word, YES, mad mike you do, you’ve noticed how the good guys are somehow the bad guys now? Well I’ll be d@mned if i’m going down on my knees my entire family believes in self preservation and we are not to be tested.

      1. When I fly, I always declare handguns, but they have to be unloaded. I have a gun safe bolted under my seat, so from now on, I will be armed until I lock my other handgun under the seat.

          1. Yes very smart putting it on social media u are leaving a gun in your vehicle. Lol. Momma June’s kind of folk. Madmike and bricklayer jeff Allen.

          1. Good laugh nitwit. Your post about employing 3 felons with guns shows how mentally unstable you are.

          1. Wait a minute, when he was going to take me on with his bat, he said he was driving a Range Rover.

          2. A couple months after he said he HAS a Tesla he said he was seriously thinking about getting one. You would think someone who owns a company, has a JD and a MA in Economics could fabricate better stories LOL

          3. When he was Mark Turner he claimed he lived on a farm in the Lower Valley – Clint. Now the nitwit claims he lives in the Upper Valley on Country Club Road. He reinvents himself due to his mental disease. There is no help for him.

    1. Unlike sub-humans like you, I was a city cop 9 years and retired from a federal law enforcement agency after serving 20 years, not to mention I did 20 yeard in the Army.

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