LAX shooter and motive identified; 1 killed and 7 injured

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Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) update

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — A federal law enforcement official confirmed that police have identified the suspect who allegedly opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday morning as Paul Anthony Ciancia.

Police were looking at information that Ciancia, 23, “wasn’t a fan of the TSA.” He reportedly had material inside his bag that spoke to his disdain or resentment towards TSA. Ciancia has an address in both Los Angeles and in New Jersey.


Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have descended on Ciancia’s father’s home in New Jersey for questioning and to try to procure a more detailed motive in the shooting. At least one of Ciancia’s siblings have shut down her Facebook page.

No word yet if Ciancia had an FB page.


Authorities believe that Ciancia arrived at a TSA screening area in Terminal 3 at 9:20 a.m., pulled a high-powerd rifle and handgun out of his bag and started shooting. He made his way past the security checkpoint into the terminal and continued shooting.

He was eventually shot and apprehended by authorities elsewhere in the terminal. He was in critical condition after being shot three times in the chest and upper torso area, media reports confirm. He is currently in surgery at an undisclosed area.

Other details:

  • Police officials confirm that Ciancia was targeting Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents. Witnesses told police that the gunman asked them if they were TSA agents. When the witnesses told him they were not TSA agents, he simply kept walking.
  • The gunman was prepared for a widespread bloodbath. Law enforcement officials say that Ciancia had multiple magazine clips full of ammo in the bag that he brought with him into the LAX airport, Terminal 3.
  • At a news conference, the Los Angeles Fire Department said it treated seven people at the scene and transported six to local hospitals. The TSA said “multiple” agents were hurt in the incident.
  • At the UCLA Medical Center in the Westwood section of L.A., which is all the way on the other side of the gigantic metro area, Dr. Lynne McCullough told reporters that the hospital was treating three adult males. One was in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds, she said, and another was in fair condition with gunshot wounds. The third victim was in fair condition with unspecified injuries. The gunshot wounds were in “a variety of areas” of their bodies, McCullough said.
  • Thousands of passengers remain stranded outside of the fifth-busiest airport in the country for the past six hours and are cut off from the airport, which remains an active crime scene. Many don’t know if they should stay or leave.
  • At 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, which is 3 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, some flights have taken off and some have landed into LAX, but it will be some time before flight schedule returns to some semblance of normalcy.

“This act of violence reminds us of the risks the brave men and women of TSA face every day as they work to protect the traveling public,” acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Rand Beers said in a statement.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire Department go out to the family of the Transportation Security Administration employee who lost their life in the senseless shooting at Los Angeles International Airport earlier today, as well as the additional individuals, including TSA employees, who were injured in the incident,” Beers said.

The attack caused widespread chaos at the airport, with flights delayed and thousand of passengers left stranded on the streets in and around the airport. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged people to avoid LAX, including those who have flights Friday afternoon.

The motive for the shooting remains sketchy. A federal law enforcement official said the gunman was a ticketed passenger entering the airport. Los Angeles Police Department anti-terrorism officials were on the scene, but sources said they believed the suspect acted alone and was not tied to any known terrorist group, the media reports.

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