ATLANTA - New information has been released about the stabbings on Wednesday afternoon at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
According to Atlanta Police Department, the female suspect, who was later identified as 44-year-old Damaris Milton, arrived at the airport in a taxi. Before exiting the vehicle, she allegedly stabbed the taxi driver.
Taxi driver Selemon Melkamu told police that he picked up Milton, who is from Orlando, Florida, from the Kensington MARTA station. During the trip to the airport, Melkamu says Milton stabbed him in the upper chest near his shoulder while passing the international sign for the airport on Interstate 285 South. She then grabbed his phone and threw it out the window and onto the interstate.
After arriving at the airport, Milton walked into the South Terminal. Police officers and a U.S. Deputy Marshal begin following Milton. The woman was then observed swiping at a Delta employee with the knife.
Officers shouted commands to drop the weapon but Milton refused to do so. 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.
"So, when we did encounter her, there had already been that stabbing that occurred," said Atlanta Police Sgt. John Chafee.
Lt. David Cannon then tried to stop Milton with pepper spray. Unfortunately, Cannon then slipped on the pepper spray and Milton took the opportunity to bend down and stab him in the leg, according to the report. It was at that point that Officer Hatley tackled Milton.
The taxi driver and injured police officer were transported to Grady Memorial Hospital. The injured Delta employee was transported to Emory Hospital. Milton was taken to Clayton County Jail.
"It doesn’t appear that there’s a connection between her and them, but that’s something we’ll be looking into," said Sgt. Chafee.
At this time, a motive for the attacks has not been determined.
Lt. Cannon, who is the police officer injured in the incident, has been released from the hospital and is recovering, police told FOX 5 Atlanta on Thursday morning.
Milton is facing four counts of aggravated assault. She made her first appearance in court on Thursday and was denied bond. After she was denied bond and was asked about needing a public defender, she responded, "Y’all already said what y’all are going to do to me, why am I answering any questions?"
‘Minimal impact’ after stabbing at Atlanta airport
Sgt. Chafee says the security checkpoint was not closed due to the incident.
"The areas where the crime scenes are blocked off, but there’s multiple different entrances that can be used at the airport," he said.
The official Atlanta Airport X account posted an all-clear about 40 minutes after the initial stabbing.
The FAA reports there were no overall delays because of the incident, but some individual flights may be impacted.
Sarah Nagem, an editor with Border Belt Independent in North Carolina, who was flying out of the Atlanta, snapped a photo of passengers being told to kneel while in the line at the security checkpoint.
A photo posted to Twitter shows people in line at the security gate kneeling down.
A video posted by one of the passengers in the terminal shows a similar scene. Yelling can be heard in the background.
The passengers can be heard clapping in the video when officials gave them the all-clear.