A signed letter found on Ciancia said he wanted to “instill fear in your traitorous minds”
Federal prosecutors have officially charged LAX shooting suspect Paul Ciancia of murder.
In an accompanying criminal complaint filed Saturday in a California U.S. District Court, the 23-year-old was charged with murdering a federal officer. A separate charge of committing violence at an international airport was also filed.
Ciancia allegedly shot up a Transportation Security Agency (TSA) checkpoint in Terminal 3 of the busy airport on Friday morning at approximately 9:20 a.m., killing a TSA officer and wounding others. The gun used was identified as a Smith & Wesson .223 caliber M&P-15 assault rifle. Ciancia pulled the weapon out of his bag and fired multiple rounds at point blank range at the TSA officer, striking him, according to the affidavit. Ciancia then allegedly began walking up an escalator before returning to shoot the officer again.
Ciancia continued his rampage, firing on at least two other uniformed, on-duty TSA employees and one civilian, all of whom sustained gunshots wounds, the filing contends. Two armed Los Angeles Airport Police members shot Ciancia and took him into custody. The TSA officer who died was identified Friday as Gerardo Hernandez. TheWrap first reported that Hernandez was married to Ana Machuca, a manager of worldwide marketing budgets at Warner Bros.
The court document also states that Ciancia was carrying a handwritten, signed letter stating that his intention represented a “conscious decision to try and kill” multiple TSA employees. In the letter, Ciancia stated that his goal was to “instill fear in your traitorous minds.” Ciancia was also carrying five additional magazine clips of ammunition for the AR-15.
The incident had a massive ripple effect on travel into and out of LAX, the world’s sixth busiest airport. Terminal 3 reopened Saturday around 1 p.m. PT and is expected to be full operational by the end of day.
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