By Jonathan Moreno
On November 1, 2013 alleged gunman Paul Anthony Ciancia, shot and killed a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent. The shooting happened in the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Ciancia, 23 from Pennsville, N.J. entered the airport at 9:30 a.m. and made his attack at Terminal 3. Eyewitnesses report the gunman approached people asking if they were TSA. Ciancia is accused of shooting and killing 39-year-old TSA agent, Gerardo Hernandez, while wounding two other TSA agents and two civilians. The gunman was eventually stopped when airport police fired at him striking him multiple times.
After searching the gunman authorities found the gunman used a .223-caliber assault rifle, five 30 – round magazines and plenty more of ammunition in his bag. The shooter was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood where his condition was critical. Authorities believe he acted alone and those close to the gunman are stunned to hear about the shooting.
The shooter’s neighbors are shocked to hear about his alleged role in the shooting. A neighbor describes Ciancia as a “normal guy” and it’s unexpected that he would commit such a crime.
Hernandez death marked the first time that a TSA agent was killed in the line of duty in its twelve-year existence. The slain TSA agent was remembered on November 12 at a memorial service. The service was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Those in attendance shared stories of Hernandez with a family member saying , “He touched so many lives.”
Ciancia is charged with murdering a federal officer and committing violence at an airport. If found guilty he can face the death penalty.