Death, shots, chaos at Los Angeles airport

Suspect in LAX shooting in custody, multiple people wounded


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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A suspected gunman was in custody following a shooting at Los Angeles airport that killed a TSA officer and wounded others. This is what AP reporters on the scene Friday are learning about the events unfolding:

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FIRST TSA OFFICER KILLED

Union and TSA officials say the TSA officer shot at LAX was the first ever killed in the line of duty. J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, says the officer was one of the behavioral detection officers stationed throughout the airport looking for suspicious behavior.

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SOURCE: NOTE THREATENED 'TSA AND PIGS'

A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that 23-year-old suspect Paul Ciancia is from New Jersey and was wearing fatigues and carrying a bag containing a hand-written note that said he "wanted to kill TSA and pigs." The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

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AT THE HOSPITAL

Three of the six people hospitalized are being treated at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center.

A hospital official says one was in critical condition and two were in fair condition. Two were wounded by gunshots and the other suffered other injuries. All are male.

Dr. Lynne McCullough, an emergency medicine physician, says the hospital was capable of taking up to 50 patients. "As it turned out, very thankfully, we received only three" patients, she said.

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CELEBS AT LAX

James Franco was among the travelers caught up in the chaos. The actor tweeted that "some (expletive) shot up the place." His publicist confirmed Franco was on a flight that landed shortly after the shooting occurred. Singer Nick Jonas tweeted about waiting on board a plane and said he was praying for the victims.

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SHOOTER IDENTIFIED

Law enforcement officials identify shooting suspect as 23-year-old Paul Ciancia.

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LATEST ON VICTIMS

The Transportation Security Administration says multiple officers with the agency were shot, one fatally. The agency declined to provide further information, saying additional details would be given by the FBI and police.

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UNION: SHOOTER NOT TSA AGENT

Tim Kauffman, a spokesman for American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 45,000 TSA screeners, says the airport shooter was not a TSA officer.

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PARKING LOT SEARCH

Police tell KNX Radio that officers are looking at the hundreds of vehicles in the parking structure near Terminal 3 but weren't sure how the shooter got to the airport.

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ALERTS

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says it has increased its airport patrols as a precaution in the wake of the LAX shooting. Chief Security Officer Joseph Dunne says the stepped-up patrols are not expected to affect flight operations.

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BAM , BAM, BAM

Xavier Savant was waiting in the security line at the terminal where the shooting occurred and he and other passengers dropped to the floor in panic. He described it as a "bam, bam, bam" burst of gunfire.

"We just hit the deck. Everybody in the line hit the floor and shots just continued," he said.

He said the shots subsided and people bolted through the metal detectors and ran into the terminal, eventually making their way out to the tarmac.

"My whole thing was to get away from him," said Savant, an advertising creative director in Hollywood who was heading to New York City with his family.

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HANDS UP

Ben Rosen, 30, was sitting at the Starbucks in Terminal 3 eating oatmeal when he heard gunfire erupt and people start running in all directions and crouching on the floor.

Police arrived with guns drawn and shouted "This is not a drill, hands up," he said. Everyone raised their hands and were led out of the terminal.

As they were led out they saw broken glass from a window that looked like it'd been shot out. Rosen left his bag behind.

"It was scary. I've never experienced anything like this before," he said. "I definitely felt underprepared. In retrospect, you have all these fire drills in school but you don't really have gunman drills."

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DISBELIEF IN TERMINAL

Grant Imahara of the Discovery show "Mythbusters" was in an airport lounge area when he heard gunfire in the terminal and saw police and terrified passengers react. "It was fairly tense and particularly after we heard the shots ring out, like 'oh my God this is really happening,'" he said.

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HEROICS

LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon said actions of responding officers were heroic. "They did not hesitate, they went after this individual, they confronted this individual in our airport," Gannon says.

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START OF SHOOTING

Gannon says the gunman entered the terminal, pulled an assault rifle from a bag and began shooting at a screening checkpoint before entering the terminal. Officers took him into custody after a shootout. "As you can imagine, a large amount of chaos took place in this entire incident," he said.

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SEVEN PEOPLE TREATED

Interim Los Angeles Fire Chief Jim Featherstone says paramedics treated seven people at the scene, and six were taken to hospitals.

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LONE GUNMAN

Gannon says there was a lone shooter who approached a TSA agent who was checking passenger documents and opened fire.

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TSA OFFICER KILLED

Tim Kauffman, a spokesman for the American Federation of Government Employees in Washington, confirmed that a TSA officer was killed in the incident at Los Angeles International Airport. He said the union's information comes from their local officials in Los Angeles.

United States - North America - California - Los Angeles

First Published November 1, 2013 2:21 PM


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