Law enforcement in Georgia has arrested a woman in connection to a stabbing attack at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Two people – a female Delta employee and a police officer – were stabbed inside the airport on the afternoon of Oct. 11. The Atlanta Police Department issued a statement saying the woman – Damaris Milton – was walking outside a security checkpoint in the south terminal while carrying a knife.
“Officers engaged the female, attempting to talk her into dropping the knife and working to restrict her movement and move travelers from the area,” stated the APD. “During the encounter the female suspect stabbed an adult female and then an APD lieutenant as he attempted to take her into custody. Another officer was then able to tackle and disarm the female and take her into custody.”
The arrested woman then reportedly told police that she had stabbed another man prior to her arrest at the airport. The man, a taxi driver who had driven the woman to the airport, and the other two victims were taken to the hospital. APB reports they are all “alert, conscious and breathing.”
“Investigators are working to determine what led to the incident,” said APD.
Milton, 44, was not injured and was taken to Clayton County Jail. She resides in Orlando, Florida.
The taxi driver, Selemon Melkamu, told Fox 5 Atlanta that he picked Milton up from the Kensington MARTA station. According to Melkamu, she stabbed him in the upper chest near his shoulder as they approached the airport from Interstate 285 South. She then threw his cell phone out of the car’s window. The driver also said police officers and a U.S. Deputy Marshal began following Milton when she approached the south terminal.
“Officers shouted commands to drop the weapon but Milton refused to do so,” reports Fox 5. “Officer D. McFarland then tried to stop Milton with his city-issued taser. However, she was wearing more than one pair of pants and it did not make contact with her skin.”
The Atlanta Airport shared a message on X just before 5:30 P.M. on Oct. 11 notifying travelers that “an incident in ATL’s domestic terminal” had been cleared and that “impacts to operations are minimal.”
“There is no threat to the public,” stated the airport.
A video of the travelers kneeling on the ground amid yelling in the terminal was shared online just after 5 P.M.
— Louis Foxx (@louisfoxx_1) October 11, 2023
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the United States. More than 75 million people traveled through the airport in 2021 – more than 10 million more than the nation’s second-busiest airport Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW).
As of August 2023, just over 513,000 aircraft operations have been recorded at the airport. There have also been approximately 69.2 million passengers, which reflects a nearly 13% increase over the previous year-to-date totals recorded in August 2022.