Detectives are trying to determine how an air pistol -- a pellet or BB gun -- wound up in a garbage can in the central terminal building at LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Port Authority, Steve Coleman, said the "unassembled air pistol," which had no propellant cartridge or pellets with it, was found by a contract cleaner near the Spirit Airlines ticket counter at about 11:30 a.m.
The air pistol was wrapped in a T-shirt and had been placed into a garbage can, Coleman said. It was not clear how long the gun might have been there, but Coleman said the terminal is cleaned "on a regular basis" so the air pistol likely was not there long.
"Detectives took possession" of the air pistol, Coleman said, and "are trying to determine who might have left it there."
He said the Port Authority would use "whatever techniques possible," including a review of terminal surveillance video, to determine how the gun was placed in the trash.