PR director fired after tweet urging tourists delayed by LAX shooting to head to Newport Beach

The public relations director of a marketing nonprofit has been fired for a tweet he sent urging tourists to avoid the chaos caused by a gunman at Los Angeles International Airport and instead visit Newport Beach.

The Orange County Register reports ( ) Jeff Soto, who had worked at Visit Newport Beach for six months, was terminated Monday.

Soto sent the tweet to nearly 13,000 followers about three hours after a shooter opened fire Friday at LAX, killing a Transportation Security Administration officer.

It read, "Heading out of town on a weekend getaway via LAX? Avoid the chaos and make it a beach vacation here in Newport Beach."

The tweet was deleted an hour later.

The nonprofit's CEO Gary Sherwin says he's "appalled and dismayed by the lack of empathy."

Soto called it a "terrible lapse in judgment."


Information from: The Orange County Register,