Emergency crews responded to JFK International Airport to investigate reports of shots fired within Terminal 8. Police later said the reports of gunfire were unfounded.
New York City police were called in to investigate reports of shots fired at John F. Kennedy International Airport late Sunday night.
JFK's Terminal 8 was evacuated while emergency crews inspected the scene. Officials could not confirm whether or not a shooting took place and scoured the area for an alleged armed suspect.
Following a brief panic that caused terminals to shut down and stranded planes on the tarmac, the warning was lifted after no evidence of gunshots was found.
Multiple calls came in around 9:30 p.m. local time (0130 UTC) on Sunday of shots being fired near the departures area of Terminal 8, local media reported.
Police also closed Terminal 1 after receiving additional reports of shots being fired there too.
Pictures on social media showed large crowds waiting outside Terminal 8 and a heavy police presence.
Some flights inbound to JFK were diverted due to the incident, while other planes were grounded on the runway until further notice.
Chaotic scenes, heavy-handed response
A German traveler, who only gave her name as Gisela, told the AFP news agency that a policeman told her: "There is an active shooter, run!"
Officers prohibited travelers from making phone calls or taking photographs. One man was arrested for trying to capture images of the chaotic scene.
When the travelers returned to the immigration area, there was renewed panic as armed police ran back and forth looking for assailants. None were found.
The Port Authority, which operates JFK, said initial checks had found no shots were fired and there were no injuries.
"At this time, no gun shells or other evidence of shots fired has been found," it said in a statement.
rs/jm (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)