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Suspected LAX Shooter Charged

  • Reuters

LAPD officers walk around terminal 3 after a shooting at Los Angeles airport (LAX), California, Nov. 1, 2013.

LAPD officers walk around terminal 3 after a shooting at Los Angeles airport (LAX), California, Nov. 1, 2013.

U.S. federal prosecutors have filed a murder charge against the suspected gunman in the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport.

Paul Ciancia was charged Saturday with murdering a federal officer and faces a separate charge of committing violence at an international airport. If convicted, he could get the death penalty.

According to a note found in his bag, Ciancia was determined to kill at least one officer of the Transportation Security Administration.

Police say the 23-year-old Los Angeles resident shot his way past an airport security checkpoint before being wounded in a gunfight with authorities and apprehended. Witnesses say the suspect did not fire at people who said they were not TSA employees.

Terminal 3, Los Angeles Airport

Terminal 3, Los Angeles Airport

He also wounded at least two other officers during the shooting Friday.

Earlier Saturday, airport officials reopened Terminal 3 at the Los Angeles International Airport, where the attack took place.

Officials say the gunman had sent a text to a sibling suggesting he was prepared to die.

Authorities have not ruled out terrorism as a motive.

Slain employee Gerardo Hernandez was the first TSA officer killed in the line of duty in the 12-year history of the agency.

The TSA, which screens airline passengers, was founded in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Authorities are working to find a motive behind the attack.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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