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ORLANDO, Fla. - Operations at Florida's Orlando International Airport resumed as normal Wednesday morning, hours after the end of a standoff involving a 26-year-old man holding a fake gun, the Orlando Police Department said.
Michael Wayne Pettigrew was undergoing a psychological evaluation following the two-hour standoff during which he threatened to harm himself and pointed a fake gun at officers at a rental car area on the airport's ground floor, Orlando police Chief John Mina said.
Police said that shortly before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, they received a report that there was an armed man at the airport.
"Our negotiators did a phenomenal job talking with the subject for about two hours and finally got him to peacefully surrender," Mina said.
The suspect surrendered at about 10 p.m.
Crystal Oliphant said she was picking up her husband from the airport Tuesday night.
"(We were) terrified," she said. "Immediately, we think that there's a bomb or that there's a shooting going on. And we're not getting any information. And there's hundreds of police (officers) just coming in."
Passengers and employees bolted once they realized what was happening.
Witness Kim Turner told WFTV that she saw the suspect dressed in black but she couldn't make out his face because she was hiding with her two children.
Our crisis negotiators did a phenomenal job. Suspect is Michael W Pettigrew, 26. pic.twitter.com/XAUJKecPLu— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) May 31, 2017
Turner waited for an opportunity to run to safety, and when she did, she said she saw the suspect point what appeared to be a gun at his own head.
Although the gun was fake, it seemed very real to Turner.
"I actually had a thought of me getting shot in the back," she said. "I was standing here, literally just sitting here, looking at him, waiting, because everybody else is gone."
No one was injured in the incident.
UPDATE: Gunman is in custody. Everyone is safe. Will brief as soon as possible in the media staging area. pic.twitter.com/8sNZ3Vjmv7— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) May 31, 2017