Wounded suspect charged with murder over airport shootings

0
Have your say

Prosecutors filed a murder charge against the suspected gunman in the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport, and he could face the death penalty.

Paul Ciancia, 23, remained in hospital yesterday after being shot four times and wounded in the mouth and leg by police before his arrest.

The FBI said he was unresponsive and they had not been able to interview him.

Friday’s attack also wounded five others, including two other security officers. Security officer Gerardo Hernandez was killed. Ciancia was also charged with commission of violence at an international airport.

Ciancia said in a note that he wanted to kill at least one Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer and did not care which one, authorities said.

US Attorney Andre Birotte Jr said Ciancia strode into Terminal 3, pulled an assault rifle out of his bag and fired repeatedly at point-blank range at a TSA officer who was checking IDs.

After shooting the officer and going up an escalator, he turned back to see the officer move and returned to fire on him again, killing him, according to surveillance video reviewed by the FBI.

Ciancia then fired on at least two other TSA employees and a civilian airline passenger, who were all wounded. Airport police eventually shot him and took him into custody.

It is not clear why Ciancia targeted the TSA, but the handwritten note found in his bag said he had “made the conscious decision to try to kill” multiple TSA employees and that he wanted to stir fear in them, said FBI Special Agent in Charge David Bowdich.

The FBI said they had not found evidence of past crimes or any confrontations with the TSA. They said Ciancia had never applied for a job with TSA.

Authorities believe someone dropped Ciancia off at the airport, and agents are reviewing surveillance tapes and other evidence to piece together the sequence of events.