Musician likely mistaken for active shooter at Calgary airport, police say

A musician carrying an instrument seems to have been mistaken for an active shooter at Calgary International Airport Thursday, police say.

Report of someone with a rifle prompts lockdown of part of international terminal

Portions of the international terminal at the Calgary International Airport were locked down on Thursday after reports of an active shooter, later dismissed. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Police say a musician carrying an instrument seems to have been mistaken for an active shooter at Calgary International Airport Thursday prompting a lockdown of part of the international terminal.

The airport said some parts of the terminal were put under lockdown after a report that someone with a gun had been spotted.

Airport employees got an email saying two threats had been made toward the international terminal — by way of two phone calls — on what was expected to be one of the busiest travel days of the holiday season.

Police confirmed they responded to a call from the airport "with regards to a possible disturbance involving a weapon in the terminal," but later reassured travellers that no shooter had been found.

A police spokesperson confirmed there was nothing to suggest there was ever a gun, but said there was a band at the airport at the time, so it's likely whoever thought they saw a rifle actually saw one of their instruments.  

"It was believed to be a musical instrument," tweeted Const. Mark Smith.

The Calgary Airport Authority also confirmed there was no threat, but said some areas of the international terminal were still under lockdown as of about 2:30 p.m. MT.  

Flights were delayed and travellers who had already been screened by U.S. Customs had to be recleared, impacting a couple of hundred passengers, said Calgary Airport Authority spokesperson Reid Fiest.

"Ultimately what matters here is safety — that is our first priority here," he said.

At about 3:30 p.m., the authority said services were resuming.

Arrivals, departures and baggage delivery were affected and travellers were told to check with their airlines for information.

The airport said in a release earlier this week that Thursday would be the busiest pre-Christmas travel day with an expected 49,000 people passing through.

This was the second lockdown at Calgary International Airport this month. A suspicious package was reported at one of the entrances on Dec. 9, prompting officials to stop letting passengers exit customs and keep passengers on at least 12 planes for several hours. 

Police later said the package was a bag.

With files from The Canadian Press

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