Man opens fire at LAX security checkpoint - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Suspected LAX shooter identified; TSA agent dead

The shooter was identified as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia. (Source: FBI) The shooter was identified as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia. (Source: FBI)
Responders place someone on a gurney into an ambulance Friday outside Los Angeles International Airport. (Source: KABC/CNN) Responders place someone on a gurney into an ambulance Friday outside Los Angeles International Airport. (Source: KABC/CNN)
Members of law enforcement walk outside LAX. (Source: KTLA/CNN) Members of law enforcement walk outside LAX. (Source: KTLA/CNN)
Police and other emergency responders gather outside the LAX terminal Friday after a shooting. (Source: KTLA/CNN) Police and other emergency responders gather outside the LAX terminal Friday after a shooting. (Source: KTLA/CNN)
People walk outside LAX after a shooting Friday. (Source: KTLA/CNN) People walk outside LAX after a shooting Friday. (Source: KTLA/CNN)

LOS ANGELES (RNN) - A shooting suspect who allegedly killed a TSA agent at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday morning has been identified.

The agent, the first to die in the history of the TSA, has been identified as 39-year-old Gerard I. Hernandez, according to the Associated Press.

The shooting left the suspected gunman, 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, wounded, along with seven others, six of whom were transported to area hospitals.

Two of the victims are in fair condition, one in critical condition. The deceased TSA agent was the first to die in the line of duty, and another TSA agent was wounded, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. TSA agents are not armed, and rely on armed airport police.

FBI Special Agent David Bowdich said the others who were injured as they fled the scene.

Ciancia is originally from New Jersey, but is a Los Angeles area resident.

The Associated Press reported Ciancia's father contacted Pennsville, NJ, police Chief Allen Cummings earlier on Friday and expressed concerns his son might have been suicidal. Cummings then contacted the Los Angeles Police Department, requesting a well-being check. Officers went to check on the younger Ciancia's condition but did not find him at his apartment.

LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon said a Ciancia, wearing fatigues, pulled an assault rifle out of a bag and began to open fire around 9:20 a.m. PT. Ciancia shot his way past the TSA security checkpoint, made his way down the hall in Terminal 3 towards the gates. Ciancia exchanged gunfire with police near gate 35 before he was taken into custody. The Associated Press also reports that officers did wound Ciancia.

According to the Associated Press, Ciancia was carrying a note that said he wanted to "kill TSA," and CNN reported witnesses heard the gunman asking people if they were TSA.

Gannon said during a news conference that the airport police had practiced an active shooter scenario three weeks ago.

"This individual was shooting as he went into the terminal," Gannon said. "The officers did not, I repeat, did not hesitate. Unfortunately, it was an officer-involved shooting."

The seven who sustained injuries were treated by EMTs, although they all may not have been hurt by gunfire.

Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of LAX, discussed the issue of those awaiting flights as the airport slowly reopens all terminals - except for the one where the shooting happened. 

"It's going to be a careful orchestrated logistical ballet to get people reprocessed and back on their flights," she said. "I think it's fair to say that every flight at LAX will be significantly delayed."

Lindsey said 746 were affected, 46 flights were diverted to local airports. Other flights were stopped at LAX or at the originating airport.

The FBI will lead the investigation, with LAX police working in support.

Of the six injured who were transported to area hospitals, UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center reported three men had been brought in with injuries from the incident, CNN said. One of them was critical, the other two were listed in fair condition.

Dr. Lynne McCullough said that one of the critical patients suffered gunshot wounds, but she would not comment on what type of injuries the other patients suffered.

Photos shared on Twitter show police standing by a rifle on the floor and what appear to be bloodstains nearby.

Actor Tim Daly, who starred on the TV show Wings, was in the terminal when shooting began. He said to CNN they were told to be careful not to step on blood or glass as they evacuated.

He was locked in a lounge for about an hour and saw the rifle on the ground outside of gates 35 and 36.

"I think the LAPD has done an outstanding job at keeping people calm and organizing people," Daly said.

Leah Osborne, who was through security to take a Virgin America flight to Newark, heard shots and ran down a flight of stairs.

"We hurried down the stairs, and just as we were exiting, they told us to get down," Osborne told CNN. "The shots were coming from behind us as we ran into the parking structure."

Aerial views of the surrounding area in the immediate aftermath showed emergency responders placing people into ambulances.

Bill Reiter, a columnist for Fox Sports, said he was inside the airport when the shooting happened.

"When gunfire broke out there was a stampede of people, all of us hiding under seats we didn't fit under," he tweeted. "We burst through the door to outside."

Multiple people said they had gone out to the tarmac when the shooting began but were moved to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Firefighters said terminals 2 and 3 had been evacuated, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Heard gunshots then everyone started running for the door," Tory Belleci of MythBusters wrote on Twitter. "Not sure if anyone was hurt."

Terry Marks-Tarlow gave an interview to radio station KNX. She said she was sitting near the terminal near gate 35 when everyone started to run and panic.

"I had no idea why," Marks-Tarlow said. "We had to evacuate through the door and down to where the planes are." 

The FAA is slowly lifting the temporary ground stop. Flights are landing on the southern landing strip. Departures and arrivals are operating at less than 50 percent than normal during the investigation.

A KNX traffic report noted access into LAX had been shut down, and surrounding traffic was backed up for miles. Exits off interstates 105 and 405 to the airport were closed.

A White House official said the president had been briefed about the shooting, the LA Times reported.

"We will continue to stay in touch with our federal and local partners," the official said. "The LAPD is leading the response and investigation. We urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site. The president will continue to receive briefings throughout the day."

AirTran, Alaska, Horizon, JetBlue, Virgin Australia and Virgin America flights operate out of Terminal 3.

The shooting came after Dicarlo Bennett set off a series of dry ice bombs in Terminal 2 at LAX in October. Bennett, 28, was a ground service worker and was charged with felony counts of suspicion of possessing and exploding a destructive device.

More than 61 million people traveled through LAX in 2012 as well as 2.1 million tons of goods - 50 percent of which is international freight, according to the LAX website. The airport is the third busiest airport in the U.S.

LAX was originally a general aviation field, founded in 1928. Military flights used the airfield during World War II, and commercial flights began in 1946.

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