TAMPA (FOX 13) - As college football fans arrive in Tampa for the national championship game, they're being greeted with increased security in the wake of the Fort Lauderdale shooting.
A gunman opened fire at Fort Lauderdale Airport this afternoon, killing five people and injuring eight others. His motive is still not clear but security was immediately tightened at airports around the country.
Dozens of travelers, like Ben Lewittes, found themselves in Tampa rather than Ft. Lauderdale after their flights were diverted in the air.
"It is really scary I'm glad to be alive. It is a little bit of a pain being in Tampa but better than being in that incident," Lewittes said.
A large crowd that found themselves re-routed to TIA were bussed four and a half hours south to their final destination, following the shooting in Ft. Lauderdale.
More officers were visible at Tampa International Airport, some carrying rifles and others accompanying K-9s. Officials say it was already an 'all-hands on deck' situation due to the game, but the shooting in South Florida will mean an even higher alert.
"We typically maintain a high presence of security some you see in the terminal some you don't see but we have stepped up our presence will maintain that going forward," said TIA VP of operations and customer service, John Tiliacos.
The airport was already busting with passengers flying in for the National Championship game. As for security, officials promise to continue reviewing their plans.
"We're confident the level of security we have is where it needs to be," Tiliacos said.
"We live in a day and age where we've got to be prepared for all of that, got to be aware and on your toes," traveler Jim Ford offered.
Meanwhile, at least three Spirit Airlines flights that were heading to Fort Lauderdale were re-routed to Tampa. A few others were still in holding patterns, so there could be even more.