What We Know So Far About The LAX Shooter
We're learning more information about the man alleged to have opened fire with an assault rifle this morning at LAX, killing a TSA agent and injuring others. Law enforcement officials have identified Paul Ciancia, 23, of Los Angeles as the man who shot his way past security in Terminal 3 at LAX. Here's what we know so far:
Ciancia was carrying a note saying that he "wanted to kill TSA and pigs." Law enforcement sources told the Associated Press that along with an assault rifle, he was carrying a handwritten note. It ended with the letters "NWO," which law enforcement sources say could stand for "New World Order," according to ABC News. (Ciancia was also wearing some sort of military fatigues.)
He sent a suicidal text to his family before the shooting. Ciancia texted his brother in New Jersey—where Ciancia is originally from—shortly before the shooting saying that he was thinking about killing himself, according to NBC.
Los Angeles police had been sent to check on him this morning. Ciancia's father, also named Paul, called the police chief of Pennsville, New Jersey early this morning asking for help locating his son after hearing about his son's suicidal text, according to the Associated Press. Pennsville Chief Allen Cummings called Los Angeles police, who sent a patrol car to Ciancia's apartment. His two roommates said that they had seen him Thursday and he was fine, according to Philly.com.
He was targeting the TSA. Ciancia asked people at LAX whether or not they worked for the TSA. One witness Leon Saryan told NBC that the shooter asked him a one-word question: "All he said was, 'TSA?' Just like that." One source told the Los Angeles Times that Ciancia had no intentions of hurting "innocent bystanders" only the TSA. The motive for his shooting isn't known.
He does not work for the TSA, nor had he ever. Earlier there were reports that the gunman had worked for the TSA at one point, but Tim Kauffman, the spokesman for the American Federation of Government confirmed that those initial reports were false, according to the Associated Press.
He wasn't killed in the shooting. There were earlier reports that the gunman at LAX had been killed during a shootout with law enforcement inside the airport, but those reports were false. Last we heard, Ciancia is in critical condition.
He was bullied in high school. The Los Angeles Times spoke with a former high school classmate of Ciancia's at Salesianum School, a private Catholic boys high school in Willmington, Delaware. Former classmate David Hamilton told the Times that Ciancia was a loner who was bullied: "In four years, I never heard a word out of his mouth. He kept to himself and ate lunch alone a lot. I really don’t remember any one person who was close to him."