An armed man tried to get past a security checkpoint at the Medford airport Thursday and was arrested after a brief altercation with Medford police.
The incident unfolded just after 1 p.m., airport officials said in a release. The man, identified as Anthony Anderson, had a handgun in a shoulder holster and did not have identification nor a boarding pass.
TSA agents contacted airport security, then Medford police arrived. Anderson and law enforcement officials struggled on the floor of the airport and during the struggle Anderson grabbed for his gun, officials said.
But officers pulled his hand away from the gun. Four more loaded handguns and more ammunition was also found, authorities said.
The checkpoint was briefly closed and one Alaska Airlines flight was delayed about 8 minutes.
Tom Busch of Lake Oswego said he saw the entire incident unfold while he was at the airport waiting for a flight.
Busch said he heard some commotion on the level below him and when he walked over to take a look, he saw “an agitated individual walking around his luggage that was on the floor by the TSA check-in area.”
Busch said the situation escalated when TSA agents tackled him to the ground.
“In the process of taking items off of his body, [agents] tossed out a semi-automatic handgun.”
The altercation was over in a flash.
“You don’t know if you want to run away or continue to watch,” said Busch. “It’s almost a surreal experience, you’re kind of in a little bit of shock.”
Anderson, 33, faces charges of attempted assault, trespassing, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of a firearm. His bail is set at $30,000.
The investigation is ongoing and “mental illness may be a contributing factor,” investigators said.