UPDATE: Police identify possible motive behind LAX shooting

(CBS)

(CBS)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officials say the suspect in the Los Angeles International Airport shootings had a lot of ammunition as well as a note indicating a grudge against TSA agents and "pigs."

A source says the note talked about TSA searches being violations of his constitutional rights.

Officials say the gunman, identified as Paul Ciancia of Pennsville, N.J., had at least 150 rounds of ammunition when he opened fire, killing a TSA agent and wounding several people as others in the panicked terminal ran for cover. Two other TSA employees are among the wounded.

The dead man, 39-year-old Gerardo I. Hernandez, is the first TSA agent to die in the line of duty.

The gunman was shot four times by police and is in custody at a hospital.

Pennsville Police Chief Allen Cummings says he got a call from Ciancia's father saying another of his children had received a possibly suicidal text message from the suspect.



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.

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A suspect was in custody Friday following a shooting at Terminal 3 at LAX, CBS News Correspondent John Miller reported.

Miller said the unidentified suspect entered the terminal wearing camouflage and opened fire around 9:30 a.m., wounding at least three people.

Preliminary indications show that he was targeting TSA employees and that one may have been killed, according to Miller.

CBS News’ Charlie Kaye says a law enforcement source tells CBS News that the shooter was an off-duty TSA agent.

“We are sickened by reports of today’s shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport,” TSA Union Leader J. David Cox Sr. said. “Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers and Transportation Security Officers killed or injured in this heinous act. Thank you to all of our brave TSOs who put their lives on the line every day to keep the flying public safe. AFGE is monitoring the situation along with TSA management.”

The airport confirms there are multiple injuries.

The injured were transported to Harbor UCLA and UCLA Medical Center.

Terminal 3 was evacuated and cordoned off and arrival and departure roads to the airport, in addition to Century Boulevard, were closed.

The terminal services the following airlines: AirTran, Alaska, Horizon, JetBlue, V Australia and Virgin America.

Traffic was backed up on the westbound 105 Freeway as cars were unable to exit onto Century Boulevard.

A large box of ammunition has been recovered on LAX property, Miller said. The LAPD Bomb Squad was on scene.

Passenger Robert Perez told CBS2 that TSA agents came through the terminal and yelled that a man had a gun.

“I heard popping and everybody dropped to the ground,” Perez said.

Another witness said he actually saw the alleged shooter.

“I was waiting for my flight and heard a rumble of people, which I thought was an earthquake, but then I saw people running and heard gun shots, immediately dove under the benches at my gate, and then gunshots stopped and I got up and called my wife,” eye witness Billy Bey said. “Then I saw a man walking towards the gate, when I saw him I thought he was just a passenger looking for his gate, but when he kept walking, I saw he had something looked like an assault rifle, a huge gun strapped over his shoulder, hanging down on the right side of his waist.”

Passenger Rodrigo Jara told KNX1070 NEWSRADIO he was waiting in line to go through the security line in Terminal 3 when he heard a loud sound.

“I heard ‘pop, pop, pop’, and then we fell down, and little did I know, I looked to the side, and this guy’s going up the stairs with the rifle,” Jara said.

Jara described the shooter he saw as a white male with blonde/dirty blonde hair possibly wearing khakis, clean-cut, and “walking like he was going to buy tea.”

Approximately 50 flights have been delayed or canceled.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck have responded to the scene.

The Los Angeles Police Department has been placed on citywide tactical alert.

Other Southland airports, including Bob Hope International Airport in Burbank, are on heightened alert.

Police are expected to hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m.


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