Police Disarm Gunman at Jamaica Airport

A gunman who held five crew members of CanJet Flight 918 hostage overnight at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica, surrendered this morning and everyone onboard the plane was released safely.

Authorities reportedly boarded the plane and disarmed the gunman, and he is currently in police custody.

The man initially took all 182 people onboard the flight hostage before eventually releasing the passengers, leaving the five crew members on the Boeing 737.

Flight 918 from Halifax, Nova Scotia, had made a scheduled stop in Montego Bay when the man boarded the plane late Sunday. He demanded money from the passengers and then requested to be flown to Cuba. The plane had been scheduled to stop in Cuba after leaving Jamaica.

A Canadian airline official reported that a shot may have been fired outside the jet, but CanJet Airlines Vice President Ken Woodside said that information had not been confirmed and nobody had been injured, according to The Associated Press.

Jamaican Information Minister Daryl Vaz told ABC News that the gunman appeared to be a "mentally challenged youngster" around 20 years old. Police have not released the man's identity, but his father reportedly helped authorities with negotiations.

Radio Jamaica reporter Latoya Johnson, stationed at the airport, told ABC News today that she saw the passengers after they were released from the plane and they seemed unharmed.

"We saw them ourselves," she said. "They were waving as they passed into their buses as they were being transported to hotels, and they all seemed to be fine."

Among the passengers on the plane was a wedding party.

Gunman's Father Assisting

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding flew into Montego bay to assist the gunman's father in negotiations to help secure the safe release of the crew.

CanJet issued a statement prior to the gunman's surrender saying, "A full security operation is under way and CanJet is cooperating fully with the local authorities ... all passengers have been safely removed from the aircraft, but CanJet crew and the armed man remain onboard."

Security in the Caribbean has been a point of concern since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It is unknown how the gunman was able to gain entry on to the tarmac through the staff entrance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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