Suspect In Fatal WRWA Shooting Found Dead In Parking Garage
OKLAHOMA CITY - Police sources say the suspect in a fatal shooting at Will Rogers World Airport has been found dead.
Authorities were called to the airport around 12:30 p.m. to reports of the shooting outside of the parking garage.
The victim, 52-year-old Michael Winchester, was transported from the scene in "emergency condition" to OU Medical Center. Just before 3:30 p.m., police confirmed that Winchester had died at the hospital. A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines later confirmed that Winchester was one of their employees.
During a press conference Tuesday evening, police said investigators quickly determined that the incident wasn’t an active shooter situation and that it appears to be premeditated. The suspect, who has only been identified as a white male, was found dead inside a red pickup, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Tactical teams were called in to conduct a search of the airport as a precautionary measure, police said. Initial reports indicated that there might have been a second victim, but investigators later ruled that out as a possibility.
At 4 p.m. police told News 9 they planned to evacuate the people stuck inside the airport to a location at SW 67th St. and Terminal Dr.
An airport spokesperson said via Twitter that all inbound and outbound air traffic has been suspended due to the shooting. In addition, OKC Police say they have shut down the airport and are asking those inside to shelter in place as the investigation continues.
We have closed Will Rogers Airport at this time. If you are inside of the airport, shelter in place until advised otherwise.— OKC Police Dept (@okcpd) November 15, 2016
Southwest Airlines notified fliers via Twitter that all inbound and outbound flights in OKC would be canceled until at least 6 p.m. The airline released the following statement about the shooting:
It is with great sorrow that Southwest Airlines confirms that a Southwest Employee who was injured during a shooting incident today at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City has died from injuries. We continue to work with the local authorities investigating this incident.
As a result of the police investigation, local flight operations have been halted. We're working to accommodate Customers still in the airport when it was locked down as well as cancelling flights departing from Oklahoma City for the remainder of the day.
The Southwest Airlines Family is deeply saddened by the passing of our Southwest Family Member, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies and support to his family and Southwest Co-workers at this time.
Southwest Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly took to Twitter Tuesday evening and offered his condolences.
We lost a cherished Southwest Employee today in an act of violence in Oklahoma City. (1/2)— Gary Kelly (@gary_kelly) November 16, 2016
You all can rest assured that we will do everything we can to support Mike's family. (2/2)— Gary Kelly (@gary_kelly) November 16, 2016
Will Rogers World Airport released a comment Tuesday night.
All airlines at Will Rogers World Airport have confirmed that they will be waiving change fees for travelers rebooking flights this evening.— Will Rogers Airport (@fly_okc) November 15, 2016
Winchester was a former punter for the Sooners from 1984-1986, and lettered on Barry Switzer's 1985 national championship team. The victim's son, James Winchester, is also a former Sooner football player and is the current long snapper for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Our love and support is with James and the entire Winchester family. Our heartfelt thoughts & prayers are with you.— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 16, 2016
Late Tuesday, News 9 learned police searched a home on the 2400 block of SW 103 Street in Oklahoma City.
Police said during the course of the investigation, detectives developed information linking the airport shooting suspect to the home.
Richie Shelton and Chelsie Dean were in the neighborhood when police flooded the area.
“They did carry some stuff out of the house. I saw some rifles – a couple of rifles - that they were carrying out and some boxes of things – lots of boxes,” Shelton said.
Keep checking with News 9 and News9.com for more information.