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Southwest Airlines employee shot dead at El Paso airport may have known attacker, say police

Business Insider logo Business Insider 11/25/2021 ztayeb@businessinsider.com (Zahra Tayeb)
The employee's identity has not yet been disclosed. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File © Provided by Business Insider The employee's identity has not yet been disclosed. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File
  • Police are continuing to investigate the death of a Southwest Airlines worker at El Paso airport. 
  • It has been determined that the incident did not occur during a robbery, police said in a statement.
  • The statement added that the victim and suspect may have known each other. 

Police are continuing to investigate the death of a Southwest Airlines employee at El Paso International airport in Texas and have released new information. 

Preliminary investigations show that the suspect and victim were known to each other, El Paso police department said in a statement posted on Twitter

It had previously been reported that the incident may have occurred during a robbery. Police officers now say that this was not the case.

The unidentified 49-year old victim's body was found in a car park at the airport before 10:p.m. The statement added that "due to the ongoing manner of the investigation, the cause of death can not be released at this time."

"We are shocked and saddened to hear about the tragic event. Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to the victim's family, Southwest Airlines, and all those impacted by the incident," El Paso aviation director Sam Rodriguez told KFOX14.


Video: Southwest employee fatally shot outside Texas airport (NBC News)

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Southwest Airlines, El Paso International Airport, and authorities did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

As of Sunday, the police were still searching for the suspect, according to KFOX14. 

Rodriguez told the outlet on Sunday that they were fully cooperating with investigators and are grateful for the quick response by emergency services.

Airline operations continued following the incident and the airport remained open, the police statement said.

Violent attacks on airline staff remain a serious concern across the US. In a separate incident on November 14, a Southwest Airlines employee was hospitalized after allegedly being assaulted by a passenger on a flight from Dallas, Insider reported

A Delta passenger was also recently charged with federal crimes after being accused of punching a flight attendant and trying to breach the cockpit.

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