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Los Angeles residents are still reeling from the tragic shooting that claimed the life of a Transportation Security Administration officer on Friday morning and resulted in the shutdown of Los Angeles International Airport for several hours.
The suspect has been identified as 23-year-old Paul Ciancia, originally of Pennsville, N.J., who allegedly used a Smith & Wesson .223-caliber assault rifle to kill one TSA officer and wound two others as well as an airline passenger.
Here are five recent developments in the case.
1. Details of Ciancia’s plan are brought to light.
CNN reported that Ciancia began asking for a ride to the airport days before the shooting, saying he needed to fly to New Jersey to help his father, who was sick, but never specified which day he was flying out. On Friday, he told a roommate he needed a ride to the airport right away. The roommate agreed to drive him to LAX, but officials don’t believe that person knew of Ciancia’s plans. Meanwhile, Ciancia had been sending text messages to family members saying he was unhappy and indicating that something was going to happen. Concerned, his father called the police, who arrived at Ciancia’s apartment to check on him about 45 minutes after he and a roommate left for the airport, but the remaining two roommates didn’t know where he was.
2. A note surfaces.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Ciancia was carrying with him a handwritten note in which he referred to himself as a “p–sed-off patriot.” He also called former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano a “bull-d-ke” and wrote the phrase “FU Janet Napolitano.” He also reportedly accused TSA agents of violating his rights and made references to the New World Order conspiracy theory, which posits that a secret elite group is plotting to form a totalitarian one-world government.
3. The murder victim is identified.
The Transportation Security Administration identified the officer killed at LAX as Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39. The slain security worker was the first TSA officer killed in the line of duty in the 12-year history of the agency, which was founded in the aftermath of 9/11. He was married to Ana Machuca, manager of worldwide marketing budgets at Warner Bros., with whom he had two children. “He took pride in his duty for the American public and for the TSA mission,” she told reporters. According to officials, after shooting Hernandez, Ciancia noticed he was still moving and returned to shoot him again.
4. Ciancia’s injuries are revealed.
Police at LAX took down Ciancia in the midst of his rampage. Among his injuries, a bullet knocked out his teeth and split his tongue; part of his face was blown away, according to an image that surfaced over the weekend. “The shooter took a .45-caliber round to the face,” a law enforcement source told the New York Daily News. Before he was carried away on a stretcher, he told investigators that he acted alone. As of Saturday, he was unable to communicate further. “He is receiving medical treatment,” David Bowdich, special agent in charge of the Los Angeles division of the FBI, said Saturday. “At this point, he is unresponsive, and we are unable to interview him as of today.”
5. The suspect is charged.
Ciancia is being charged with two felony offenses: murder of a federal officer and commission of violence in an international airport. He could face life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.
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