Father of NFL player shot and killed in Oklahoma airport shooting

The father of an NFL player was shot and killed after gunfire erupted outside an Oklahoma airport.

Southwest Airlines employee Michael Winchester, 52, was wounded at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City and died Tuesday afternoon, the company confirmed to the Daily News.

Oklahoma City Police Captain Paco Balderrama said that the gunfire was reported in the area outside the airport terminal, and aerial video from the scene showed a pool of blood near a ramp up to the departure area.

KFOR cited anonymous sources saying that a “sniper’s nest” had been found in the parking garage, though spokesman Sgt. Gary Knight told the Daily News that he could not confirm any information about a sniper’s nest.

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One Southwest Airlines employee was killed after a shooting at Oklahoma City's Will Rogers Airport Tuesday.

One Southwest Airlines employee was killed after a shooting at Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers Airport Tuesday.


The suspect, who has remained unidentified, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head inside a red pickup truck in the garage, Balderrama said.

Police believe the shooting was an isolated incident, though all inbound and outbound air traffic was suspended at Will Rogers Airport before normal operations resumed early Tuesday evening.

Authorities did not release any motive behind the attack, though said that they believe the killing was premeditated and the gunman acted alone.

Winchester was a former college football punter who played for the 1985 University of Oklahoma national championship team.

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He is also the father of James Winchester, a fellow Sooner who currently plays as a long snapper for the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Agent Ken Sarnoff posted on Twitter, “I’m devastated to confirm for news outlets that my client @J_Winchester41 lost his father today to tragic & senseless gun violence at OKC.”

Not Released (NR)

Mike Winchester was the father of Kansas City Chiefs long snapper James Winchester,

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“Our hearts are truly heavy for the entire Winchester Family. Mike was a former Sooner student athlete as was his son James/daughter Carolyn,” OU Athletics Director Joe Castiglione said.

“Our love and support is with James and the entire Winchester family. Our heartfelt thoughts & prayers are with you,” the Chiefs posted.

“The Southwest Airlines Family is deeply saddened by the passing of our Southwest Family Member, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies and support to his family and Southwest Co-workers at this time,” communications director Brandy King said in a statement.

Travelers at the airport were told to shelter in place. Above, a file photo of Will Rogers Airport.

Travelers at the airport were told to shelter in place. Above, a file photo of Will Rogers Airport.


Southwest Airlines said that it was cancelling all flights from Oklahoma City for the rest of the day and Will Rogers Airport said that all airlines would waive change fees for travelers affected by the shooting.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

southwest airlines
gun violence

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