Passengers on a Frontier Airlines flight sprang into action when another person on the plane threatened to attack with a box cutter.
“He was trying to stick a blade into a box knife,” a woman who sat next to the man on the flight told Inside Edition. “He kept saying he wanted to stab people, he wanted to stand up and hurt somebody.”
Navy veteran Larry Cumberbatch says he switched places with the woman so he could sit next to the gunman.
“When I approached him, I said ‘I’ll be sitting here from now on.’ He said, ‘No, you’re not, there’s a lady sitting here.’ I said, ‘Not anymore,’” he told Inside Edition.
Air Force Capt. Ben Mutz was also on standby.
“He was walking down the aisle, saying profanities in a low voice,” Mutz told Inside Edition.
Cumberbatch said the other passengers on the plane were “very scared and worried about 9/11.”
The terrorist hijackers responsible for September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks used box cutters when commandeering the four commercial airliners that crashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field during a trip to Washington D.C. Safety regulations surrounding the flight were significantly tightened following the September 11, including the banning of box cutters in airplane cabins.
In the aftermath of the terrifying ordeal, those on and off the flight wonder how a man with box cutters in his possession managed to get through TSA screening and onto the plane.
The TSA says the suspect’s backpack passed through the X-ray machine and a box cutter was discovered.
“The visible blades were removed from the cutter and returned to the passenger,” the TSA said in a statement. “This is against standard operating procedure. The backpack containing the other cutter was checked but the cutter was not discovered.
After the incident, the TSA also sent a nationwide bulletin to screening officers to heighten their vigilance.