Following Sunday's false-alarm reports of an active shooter at JFK, Cuomo announced that his office will be launching a full interdepartmental review of the Port Authority Police Department's response to the situation, the Daily News reports.
"I believe very much in going back and studying what happened and seeing what we can learn from it, and that's what should be done with JFK," Cuomo told the News on Tuesday.
Although no one was hurt, and the PAPD and NYPD found no evidence of an active shooter on Sunday night, passengers at JFK Terminals 1 and 8 were plunged into more than two hours of chaos and confusion. According to numerous firsthand reports, passengers were evacuated without being informed why, which only exacerbated the chaos. One person said on Twitter that they received no information from the PAPD other than "it's not safe to stay here."
"What happened at JFK [Sunday] night was, in every respect but the violence, a mass shooting," one traveler, David Wallace-Well, wrote in New York magazine. Wallace-Wells, who was in Terminal 1 on Sunday night as it was being evacuated, described the scene as a "stampede." According to the News, two passengers were trampled during the evacuation.
"Within minutes, the whole apparatus of the airport and its crowd-control mechanisms had collapsed into total disarray," Wallace-Wells wrote.
Both the PAPD and the NYPD were actively releasing updates on the situation via Twitter, but it was not until 11:55 p.m. that NYPD Special Ops confirmed no shots had been fired. By Monday morning, the NYPD confirmed that there had been no active shooter—instead, the sound of people cheering and clapping while watching the Olympics may have been mistaken for gunshots. (This has not yet been officially confirmed.)
JFK UPDATE: All terminals searched & cleared. Negative results. All affected terminals will resume operations shortly. No shots were fired.
— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) August 15, 2016
During a Wednesday afternoon press conference about securing federal funding for the City's counterterrorism operations, both Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton spoke of the JFK shooter scare as an opportunity to improve the City's handling of potentially dangerous situations.
"I think we learned some important lessons this weekend," de Blasio. "We're going to work on continuing our coordination to make sure the resources are there to deal with any incident.... And we have to make sure that we inform the public better in any situation like this."
According to Bratton, anywhere between 300 and 400 police officers arrived at the scene on Sunday night, and he maintains that the PAPD and NYPD responded well to the situation itself. "The response was satisfactory from our perspective," he said at Wednesday's press conference, "but the confusion was that it was, fortunately—and we need to be thankful for this—a false alarm that we can learn from."
Bratton also suggested SpotSpotter technology, which is capable of pinpointing the exact location of a gunshot, could have "been potentially beneficial" during Sunday night's chaos. However, Bratton clarified that the technology is still "being perfected." It's possible that even with ShotSpotters installed at JFK, whatever loud noise led to the evacuation would have still registered as a gunshot.