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Houston Airport Shooting Slows Some Flights to United Hub

Some flights to Houston’s largest airport were delayed yesterday after a lone armed man was killed in a confrontation with a Homeland Security agent near a ticket counter inside the terminal.

The man, who was not identified, entered the building at about 1:30 p.m. local time and fired at least one shot into the ceiling, according to Houston Police Department spokesman Kese Smith. The agent emerged from a nearby office, saw the suspect was armed and ordered him to drop his weapon, Smith said.

When the man refused, the Homeland Security agent fired. The suspect fired his weapon in what “appeared to be a self-inflicted manner,” Smith said. The man, who was about 30 years old, was pronounced dead at the airport of what may be a self-inflicted wound, he said. No one else was hurt.

The incident sparked flight disruptions at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency lifted a ground stop on flights to the airport shortly after 5:30 p.m. local time yesterday, according to the agency’s website.

Some United Continental Holdings Inc. flights to the airport’s Terminal B were delayed, said Charlie Hobart, a spokesman for the Chicago-based carrier. Other flights at the airport were operating normally, Lynn Lunsford, a FAA spokesman, said in an e-mail.

Bush Intercontinental is the 11th-busiest U.S. airport, with 39.9 million passengers last year, according to Airports Council International-North America, a trade group.

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