Paul Anthony Ciancia ID’ed as Suspect in LAX Shooting: Reports
Paul Ciancia was identified as the shooting suspect at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday morning. At least one TSA officer was killed and three other people were injured.
NBC Los Angeles and The Associated Press reported that Ciancia, 23, from Pennsville, New Jersey, was the suspect. The FBI later confirmed the suspect was Ciancia.
A law enforcement official told AP that Ciancia wrote a rant about killing Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) workers.
Another official said that he was wearing military fatigues and carrying a bag that reads he “wanted to kill TSA and pigs,” AP reported.
Early reports said that Ciancia was a former employee with the TSA, but a TSA union said he that wasn’t ever employed with the agency, reported NBC.
Pennsville’s Police Chief Allen Cummings told The Associated Press that the suspect grew up in the town, located in southern New Jersey. Other officials said that he was living in Los Angeles, but it was unclear for how long.
The suspect’s brother told police that he received a text from Ciancia that he was thinking about killing himself, according to AP. Cummings said the suspect’s father called him and he notified authorities in Los Angeles, who sent a patrol car to his apartment.
“Basically, there were two roommates there” Cummings said. “They said, ‘We saw him yesterday and he was fine.'”
Neighbor Josh Pagan, 17, told AP that he would see Ciancia at orthodontist appointments but it had been two years since he saw him.
“He was never weird toward me. He never gave me any weird vibes,” Pagan said.
The suspect apparently walked up to the Terminal 3 security checkpoint and asked people if they were TSA agents before he opened fire, according to early reports.
Officials said that he removed the weapon, a semi-automatic rifle, from a bag he was carrying.
“He went past the screeners and back into the airport itself,” said Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon at a press conference. Police then “engaged him with gunfire” and took him into custody. He added that officials did “security sweeps” through the airport afterward. The shooter was able to get to a Burger King restaurant before he engaged with officers.
Gannon said there was only one shooter.
A 40-year-old TSA officer was pronounced dead at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, reported CBS Los Angeles.
Following the shooting, witnesses said there was chaos as people ran from the shooting.
“We were just standing there and someone started shooting,” witness Nick Pugh told NBC LA. “I heard a total of maybe eight or 10 shots fired.”
Pugh then saw the suspect being chased by officers.
“We just hit the deck. Everybody in the line hit the floor and shots just continued,” said Xavier Savant, a witness waiting in line. He described the shooting as “Bam! Bam! Bam!”
The shooting sent hundreds of travelers scurrying throughout the airport and outside before it was evacuated.
“We are sickened by reports of today’s shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport,” TSA Union Leader J. David Cox Sr. told CBS. “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 incident caused massive delays across the U.S., as LAX is considered an international hub for flights.