Suicidal man causes lockdown at Albuquerque Sunport


A man threatening to kill himself at the Albuquerque Sunport caused a chaotic scene Sunday morning. Hundreds of travelers were stranded as flights were diverted and delayed.

The situation lasted about 3-hours. Albuquerque Police say an unnamed man started to hurt himself past the security checkpoint.

A witness shared video with KRQE News 13 of what happened and we warn you, some may find it graphic.

“He has harmed himself. That’s very much a concern for us,” says Ofc. Simon Drobik.

APD got a call around 7:30 Sunday morning about a man causing a disturbance on a Southwest flight that was about to depart the Sunport.

“Somehow got a ticket from a family member. Got on a flight, was being disruptive, was asked to get off that flight,” says Ofc. Drobik.

Police say the man was escorted out of the secure area, but managed to get another ticket and got through security once again.

Christopher Lovato, a Sunport employee, says that man headed straight to a souvenir kiosk once he passed the TSA checkpoint.

“The poor girl. She said, hi can I help you? And he smashed everything. Grabbed the sharpest thing he could find and he stabbed himself in the neck,” says Lovato.

At that point, police say the man jumped onto an observation deck and refused to get down.

Lovato says the employee at the kiosk was terrified.

“I went around the corner and she was just standing still. She is crying. She is in shock. She said it looked like he had no life in him. She saw no soul,” he says.

Some inbound flights were diverted while others deplaned on the runway. Meanwhile, outbound flights were delayed for hours, but no flights were canceled.

Some passengers stayed patient as they waited for the situation to be resolved.

“Life happens. Whether it’s this or something else. You just got to go with the flow,” says David Hartley.

While other travelers were just anxious to get to their destination.

“Sitting there at the hotel going, oh heck! I’ll never get home!” says Bill Saichek.

Police were finally able to talk the man off the observation deck ledge around 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning, then travelers were allowed through security shortly after.

The man was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated.

APD says they will not charge the man for this incident. However, federal investigators will be looking into this and considering charges.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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