Man with fake gun in custody at Orlando airport

Earlier, the airport's verified account said there was a man with a weapon in a rental auto area of Side A, Level 1.

The force later said the suspect was in custody and "everyone is safe".

An armed suspect in a hours-long standoff with police at a rental auto area at Florida's Orlando International Airport on Tuesday pleaded with officers to shoot him before he was taken into custody without any shots being fired, Orlando police said.

Lawrence Wilbanks, 54, landed from Chicago at about 7:20 p.m. "In cases like that, we want to try to peacefully negotiate with them" to avoid a "deadly force situation".

The Federal Aviation Administration has initiated a traffic management program for Orlando International Airport due to the ongoing standoff with an alleged gunman.

"When the officers got there, they realized this was a person in mental distress and basically wanted to do the whole suicide by cop thing", Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.

The affidavit says Pettigrew aimed the fake gun at officers, but no shots were fired and no one was hurt.

UPDATE: Armed suspect is contained but not in custody.

Hundreds of police officers from across central Florida responded to the incident.

An employee at a rental vehicle company at the airport told Channel 9 he heard shots fired and the area he was in had been locked down.

Shocking footage from inside the airport shows armed police in a stand-off with the man, after terrified passengers flee the scene. Witnesses reported a Thrifty employee running from the garage area yelling, "There is a guy out there with a gun".

Airport officials said the shooting happened in the Terminal A auto rental area.

No other information was immediately available.

  • Larry Hoffman