Los Angeles airport gunman charged with murder
Paul Anthony Ciancia could face the death penalty
The gunman who shot dead a security officer and brought America's third busiest airport to a standstill on Friday afternoon has been charged with murder and could face the death penalty.
Paul Anthony Ciancia, a 23-year-old from Los Angeles, was also charged with commission of violence at an international airport.
He was wounded by police and detained after opening fire with a .223-calibre semi automatic assault-style rifle, which he pulled from a bag in Terminal 3 of LA International Airport. He killed security guard Gerardo Hernandez and wounded seven others.
He was taken into custody in a "critical condition," and no more is known of his condition.
US Attorney Andre Birotte Jr said Ciancia fired at Mr Hernandez repeatedly at point-blank range. He then went up an escalator and turned back to see the officer move. He returned to kill him, according to a surveillance video reviewed by the FBI.
California uses the death penalty, and criminals can choose between lethal injection or gas chamber.
The attack affected hundreds of flights nationwide, and on Friday the Los Angeles mayor said Ciancia had at least 100 rounds "that could have literally killed everyone in that terminal."
The terminal reopened on Saturday.
Investigators said they wanted to know what had been "the tipping point" for the suspect, who had recently moved to LA from New Jersey. Sources said that he had sent "angry, rambling" text messages to family members in recent days and it has emerged that Ciancia's father contacted police in New Jersey shortly before the shooting, after an apparently suicidal text message was sent by the suspect to his brother.
His 39-year-old victim worked for the Transport Security Administration, which was set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Its officers, who screen all commercial airline passengers and baggage, do not carry weapons.
It is unclear why Ciancia targeted the TSA, and the FBI said they had no evidence of any grudge against the agency. But the handwritten note found in his bag said he'd "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 L. Bowdich.
And Sky News cites an official paraphrasing the note as adding: "Black, white, yellow, brown, I don't discriminate."
One witness said that Ciancia appeared to be targeting security officials. Leon Saryan told CNN that, after shooting a TSA officer, the attacker "calmly" approached him and asked: "TSA?"
"I just shook my head and he kept going," Mr Saryan said.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...