RDU officials said law enforcement was investigating a report of an attempted carjacking around 5 p.m.
Hundreds of passengers inside and many more on the departure level at Terminal 2 had to wait -- hoping they were safe and that they could just go home.
The garage was closed while officers, some armed with rifles, investigated. Airport guests were asked to remain inside the terminals and arriving guests were redirected.
No suspect was located and no one was injured.
Some folks have been waiting here on the departure level at @RDUAirport for more than two hours as police search for someone with a gun in the central parking facility #abc11 pic.twitter.com/58Pc5fFcTx— Josh Chapin (@JoshChapinABC11) September 28, 2021
About two hours later, RDU officials said travelers could use the garage and those in the terminals could return to their vehicles.
"We appreciate guests' patience as we worked quickly to complete the search," the airport said in a statement.
They didn't have to tell the weary travelers twice.
"We have to drive to Charlotte, so that's another two hours and a half so, we're eager to get to the car and get going," said Valentina Radchanka, who was up early in the morning in Seattle and had to wait out the ordeal with her family, including her young daughter, Leilani.
She was one of about 300 people just sitting and waiting inside.
The passengers and drivers picking up travelers could only watch as police and other first responders blanketed the scene.
"They made us go inside. They wouldn't let anybody out of the building, in or out of the building, so we're just kind of out there at their grace," said Brett Doyle.
Doyle had a long trip back to Wilson after coming back from Iowa.
"It's a little nerve-racking," Doyle said. "I'm a little tired, and I want to get home "
Another traveler, Mohammad Qabaha just flew in from Dallas and desperately wanted to go home.
"I was trying to go across and go to my car," Qahaba said, who was unable to because of the police activity.
"My day wasn't really good, so it's completed," he said.
No flights were delayed as a result of the investigation,
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