TSA officer resigns after gift shop employee gets gun through security
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A TSA officer at Memphis International Airport resigned after a gift shop employee was accused of bringing a loaded gun inside the airport.
TSA security lines were shut down and passengers were stopped from leaving the airport on Monday afternoon during the incident.
According to the police report, a TSA agent noticed a strange object inside Paradies employee Shwundra Boxiley's bag. An agent, who did not check the bag, gave it back to Boxiley, who then left the checkpoint area.
TSA officers later studied the image and determined that the item in the x-ray was a loaded gun. They brought Boxiley back to the checkpoint with her bag, which no longer had a gun in it.
Boxiley denied having a gun at first. However, when a lieutenant told her that all security lines were shut down and passengers weren't being allowed to leave the concourses, she admitted putting the gun inside the Paradies break room.
The police report said Boxiley showed officers the gun, concealed inside a box underneath a television stand.
Boxiley later told officers that she was rushing to get to work and forgot to leave the weapon in her car. She said she got scared once she noticed the gun in her bag and that's when she hid it in the break room.
Boxiley was escorted out of the concourse and to an airport police substation. Normal protocol resumed inside the concourses.
The officer who initially spotted the item is still employed with TSA. The second officer, who allowed the bag to go through security despite suspicions, resigned.
"I'm concerned that maybe someone is not doing what they are really supposed to be doing," traveler Clive Clark said.
Travelers agree that the incident makes them feel uneasy.
"I don't feel very good about my son flying today," Sam Mullins agreed.
Others are now speculating how this could have even happened.
"I do feel the reason she got by, because, oh, they knew her. So, they didn't do a thorough check until somebody else came along and said, 'Hey, that looked like a gun,'" traveler Laura Thomas said.
A TSA spokesperson released the following statement Wednesday:
"Following a miscommunication between TSA officers working at a Memphis International Airport checkpoint Monday, an airport concession employee carrying a firearm in a bag was temporarily allowed into the sterile area with the item. As a result, TSA has removed the two involved officers from screening duties until conclusion of an internal review."
Boxily faces misdemeanor charges of violating airport security and unlawful possession of a firearm. She is also banned from the secure area of Memphis International Airport.
WMC Action News 5's Ian Silver went by Boxily's listed address to get her side of the story, but nobody answered the door.
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