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Woman escaped Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport just in time before lockdown

Posted at 12:26 AM, Jan 07, 2017

While many passengers were forced to stay at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, some escaped just in time, before it was locked down.

Shannon Zirkle-Prabhakar's plane landed right around the same time the shots broke out. When she got off her plane, she says it didn't take long to figure out what was going on.

"As we were walking, we saw a whole bunch of police," she recalled. "Fifty, 60 police cars, and I started getting worried, so I looked online and I quickly saw that there was a shooting, and I got really scared."

Zirkle-Prabhakar says she ran past the baggage claim, where the shooting had happened, straight to the rental car area. She says her rental car company was the last to shut down, and she was one of the last people to get a car.

"We heard that a lot of the other car rental agencies had evacuated their teams, so we were quite lucky to get the car," Zirkle-Prabhakar said.

She added that on her way out of the airport, she saw others doing anything they could to escape.

"We saw people with their bags walking on the highway," she said, "Because, I guess they couldn't take their cars out or there was no way to exit, and I was like that would've been me. If I didn't have a way to get out, I would've just tried to figure out any way to leave."

Zirkle-Prabhakar says she's happy to believe. She says if her plane would have landed just a few minutes earlier, she could have been right in the middle of the shooting.

"It really puts into reality how valued your life is in every moment and every day," she said.