A man who gunned down a Southwest Airlines employee outside of Oklahoma City's airport likely killed the victim in retaliation for circumstances that led to the attacker leaving his job with the airline previous year, police said Wednesday.
The suspected gunman, 45-year-old Lloyd Buie, was a former employee of Southwest Airlines who had resigned in April 2015. "Obviously he shot himself afterwards", said Paco Balderrama, spokesperson for the Oklahoma City Police.
The man who shot and killed the father of an National Football League player at Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport is a former employee of Southwest Airlines, police said Wednesday.
"While detectives do not know whether Winchester was the target, it is possible that the suspect acted in retaliation against the circumstances leading up to his resignation", Balderrama said.
Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King told Fox News that Buie had struggled with substance abuse when employed by the airline.
Balderrama said Buie drove to the airport Tuesday with the intent to kill someone.
Relevant to your professional network? Police said they did not know his job title.
He said Buie likely would have needed a scope on his rifle to shoot Winchester from that distance. After about 75 minutes, using a robot, officers determined the suspect was dead and gave an all-clear. The attack occurred just before 2 p.m. ET Tuesday as Winchester, a former punter for the University of Oklahoma Sooners, walked to his vehicle after work.
Carney says 7,000 to 8,000 travelers go through the airport daily. A jet carrying inmates to the transfer site was allowed to land while the rest of the airport was shuttered.
Yesterday the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City was on lockdown due to an active shooting event.
Reports came in early that the shooter had been a disgruntled employee, and when administrators began asking staff members who it could be, Buie's name was mentioned by several of the airport's staff, the agent's wife said. The Will Rogers World Airport was closed and put on lockdown beginning at 1:40 PM with all of its flights cancelled for the majority of the day. An Oklahoma City police officer looks through tall grass at a checkpoint at Will Rogers World Airport, Tuesday, Nov. 15 2016, in Oklahoma City.
The airline said Winchester was a ramp supervisor and had worked for the airline for 29 years.
After the airport suspended operations, maps posted at the airport tracking website FlightAware showed that one plane was diverted to the Wiley Post Airport in the northwestern part of the city while two commercial flights from Chicago's O'Hare Airport were directed to Tulsa, about 100 miles away.
Fifteen of the canceled flights were operated by Southwest Airlines.