Things took a terrifying turn on a seemingly ordinary Wednesday afternoon at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. A woman, now identified as 44-year-old Damaris Milton, allegedly launched a stabbing spree that left three individuals injured, including a police lieutenant.
The harrowing events commenced when Milton reportedly attacked her taxi driver upon arrival at the airport. She then proceeded to the airport’s south terminal, typically buzzing with passengers waiting for domestic flights. In an area described as the “west crossover” by the Atlanta Police Department, Milton made her presence dangerously clear. Videos and eyewitnesses depicted a chilling scene: Milton, knife in hand, was separated from unsuspecting travelers by mere sheets of glass.
— Louis Foxx (@louisfoxx_1) October 11, 2023
As officers tried to defuse the situation, urging Milton to drop her weapon, she allegedly stabbed an airport ticket clerk and an Atlanta Police Department lieutenant in the leg. The urgency of the incident became all the more palpable as reports indicated the knife struck an artery in the lieutenant’s leg. Luckily, quick-thinking officers managed to subdue Milton, preventing further harm.
Sarah Nagem, a North Carolina editor, was among the alarmed passengers at the scene. In her account to the Journal-Constitution, she recalls hearing shouts of “Get on the floor, get on the floor.” Though she didn’t see the perpetrator, Nagem and many others were prompted to kneel for safety.
Police identified her as 44-year-old Damaris Milton. https://t.co/IObqKERJll
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) October 12, 2023
All injured parties, including the suspect, were transported to Grady Memorial Hospital. Gratefully, it has been confirmed that all are in stable condition and expected to recover fully.
In the aftermath of the incident, questions arise about the motive behind such a brazen act in a bustling public area. Atlanta police Sgt. John Chafee commented, “It doesn’t appear that there’s a connection between her and the victims, but that’s something we’ll be looking into.” With the investigation ongoing, police have yet to ascertain what provoked Milton to commit such a violent act.
However, amid the chaos, it’s commendable to note the swift response of airport officials and law enforcement. Despite the serious nature of the incident, Sgt. Chafee emphasized that the main security checkpoint remained operational. “The areas where the crime scenes are blocked off, but there’s multiple different entrances that can be used at the airport,” he clarified.
Moreover, within a brief 40-minute window following the incident, the official Atlanta Airport X, formerly Twitter, account signaled an all-clear, ensuring passengers and staff that normal operations would resume. The FAA further confirmed no significant delays or cancellations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport due to the incident.
Though Wednesday’s event will surely leave an indelible mark on those who witnessed it firsthand, the collective actions of law enforcement and airport personnel stand as a testament to preparedness in the face of danger. As the investigation continues, the greater Atlanta community awaits answers and hopes for continued safety measures to prevent future threats.