False reports of gunfire later determined to be "loud noises" late Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport sparked chaos as travelers fled, shutting down terminals and delaying flights.
Meanwhile, a man wearing a Zorro costume – complete with a plastic sword – was briefly detained, though it was not clear why.
According to KTLA and The Associated Press, the panic began about 9 p.m. PDT when hundreds of travelers ran onto the tarmac and surrounding streets after hearing the noises or false reports of a gunman.
LAPD spokesman Andy Neiman later tweeted, "Report of shooting at LAX proved to be LOUD NOISES only," adding that investigators were trying to determine what had caused the noises.
Neiman added that there were no shots fired and no injuries.
CNN reports that the Federal Aviation Administration issued a 30-minute ground stop. Three terminals and nearby roads were temporarily closed, and many passengers had to go through security screening again, according to the AP.
According to CNN, up to 23 flights were diverted and 68 were delayed during the scare.
During the commotion, Paula Leonhauser saw a man in a Zorro costume who appeared to be greeting his girlfriend, she told KTLA.
"She said to him, 'I have one more bag to get. Wait out here.’ And he turned and went down the sidewalk a little bit," Leonhauser said. "I don’t know whether that is the person who they were frightened of, but what happened next was the police yelled … at all of us to get down and get away."
Leonhauser, who said at least one officer drew a gun, added, "It was frightening. It was absolutely frightening. It was mayhem."
The airport confirmed on its Twitter account that the man had been detained but did not disclose any other details. CNN reports that the man had nothing to do with the incident and was on his way to Las Vegas.
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