Skip to content

Gunman Kills TSA Agent at LAX, Injures Three

November 2, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, killing a TSA employee and wounding two other people in an attack that frightened passengers and disrupted flights nationwide, officials said.

A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that the suspect in the Los Angeles airport shooting is a 23-year-old man from New Jersey who wrote a rant about killing Transportation Safety Administration workers. A law enforcement official, who was briefed at LAX on the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly, said the gunman was wearing fatigues and carrying a bag containing a hand-written note that said he “wanted to kill TSA and pigs.”

The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. The official identified him as Paul Ciancia. A second law enforcement official confirmed the identity, speaking on condition of anonymity. Authorities say the suspect killed a TSA employee in the shooting.

“We believe, at this point, that there was a lone shooter” who was the only person armed in the incident at Terminal 3, Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said at a press conference shortly after noon. Terminal 3 is home to Virgin America and other airlines. “As you can imagine, a large amount of chaos took place in this entire incident,” he said.

The shooter is described as being “critical condition,” The Los Angeles Times reports, contrary to an earlier report that stated the gunman had died. The shooter is not a TSA employee, according to CBS News and the LA Times, both of which had reported that shooter worked for the agency. The shooter is now being described as a “ticketed passenger,” a source told the Times

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told reporters that the FBI is handling the investigation.

Tim Kauffman, a spokesman for the American Federation of Government Employees in Washington, confirmed Friday that a TSA officer was killed. In addition, the agency stated that “Multiple Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) were shot, one fatally.”

The airport was being swept for precautionary measures and the bomb unit was on the scene.

LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger said the TSA employee was injured and transported to the hospital.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center said it received “three male victims from the LAX Airport shootings. One arrived in critical condition and two are listed in fair condition.”

Air traffic was affected nationwide as the FAA grounded flights that had not yet departed for LAX, and an airport official warned that travelers to and from the airport should expect significant delays.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a “ground stop” was in effect for all flights heading to Los Angeles, meaning planes in any other airport in the country can’t take off for the city, although some flights already in the air were allowed to land.

LAX air traffic controller Michael Foote said some flights were still being allowed to depart.

Foote said his colleagues in the control tower saw passengers spilling from the terminal onto the tarmac, “evacuating the building, getting out as fast as they could.” Officers eventually corralled them.

Television hosts Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci, who star on Mythbusters, had been in the area when the shooting took place. “Grant and Tory are safe and being rerouted. Our thoughts are with all those affected by today’s tragedy,” a statement from the Science and Discovery Channel read.

Xavier Savant was waiting in the security line at the terminal where the shooting occurred and he and other passengers dropped to the floor in panic. He described it as a “bam, bam, bam” burst of gunfire.

“We just hit the deck. Everybody in the line hit the floor and shots just continued,” he said.

He said the shots subsided and people bolted through the metal detectors and ran into the terminal, eventually making their way out to the tarmac.

“My whole thing was to get away from him,” said Savant, an advertising creative director in Hollywood who was heading to New York City with his family.

Other travelers described a chaotic scene as airport security staff evacuated terminals, including onto to the tarmac. Hundreds of people remained gathered outside next to airplanes as authorities investigated what happened.

Ben Rosen was sitting at the Starbucks in Terminal 3 eating oatmeal at about 9:20 a.m. when he heard gunfire erupt and people start running in all directions and others crouching on the ground. Rosen got on the ground and another passenger said “don’t worry we’re safe.”

Then more gunshots erupted. He grabbed his phone and tried to lie down as flat on the ground as he could. Police showed up with their guns drawn, shouting, “This is not a drill, hands up.”

The White House press secretary’s office stated that President Obama was briefed on the incident.

The shooting occurs just weeks after an LAX employee was arrested in connection with a dry ice explosion at the airport.

Tags: texas tech football   Sweetest Day   carrie   Captain Phillips   iOS 7 download  


From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: