Christian Petersen/Getty
Alexia Fernandez
November 15, 2016 08:45 PM

Michael Winchester, the father of Kansas City Chiefs player James Winchester, was shot and killed on Tuesday at Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport after police closed the complex to search for the suspect, who was later found dead.

Winchester, 52, died before being taken to the hospital, according to the Associated Press. The suspect was found dead in a pickup truck located in an airport parking garage and has not been identified.

Police told the AP they believe the shooting was a premeditated attack, although more information has not been released.


Winchester was a former University of Oklahoma football player and worked for Southwest Airlines.

“It is with great sorrow that Southwest Airlines confirms that a Southwest Employee who was injured during a shooting incident today…,” the airline said in a statement. It said it would cancel flights out of the city for the rest of the day, according to the AP.

Gary Kelly, the chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines, tweeted his condolences to the Winchester family following confirmation of his death and said they will “do everything we can to support Mike’s family.”

Hundreds of passengers were stranded inside the terminal for more than three hours after the shooting before police allowed them to leave slowly.

Officials closed the airport at about 1 p.m. and diverted incoming flights as well as preventing those ready for takeoff. Oklahoma City’s airport handles between 7,000 and 8,000 passengers a day.


Winchester was a punter on the University of Oklahoma’s 1985 national championship team. His son, James, followed in his footsteps by playing at the same university before going on to play for the NFL.



The Kansas City Chiefs tweeted their condolences to the Winchester family, as well as athletic agent and attorney Ken Sarnoff, who works with James.

The University of Oklahoma’s athletic director, Joe Castiglione, tweeted, “Our hearts are truly heavy for the entire Winchester Family. Mike was a former Sooner student athlete as was his son James/daughter Carolyn.”

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