LAX reopens following shooting, death of TSA agent

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November 3, 2013, 7:09 am
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(NECN/NBC News: Dan Scheneman) - Los Angeles International Airport is back in operation Sunday morning, following a shooting in terminal three on Friday that killed one TSA agent and injured several others.

On Saturday, federal prosecutors filed charges against the suspect, 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, as the family of the slain security officer talked about their loss.

Investigators say they have evidence that Ciancia intended to harm as many TSA agents as he could when he opened fire.

"His intent was very, very clear in his note,” said David L. Bowdich, the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation.

According to the criminal complaint, the handwritten and signed note stated he "'had made the conscious decision to kill' multiple TSA employees."

"The murder is believed to be a premeditated act of first degree," said Andre Birotte Jr., US attorney.   

Ciancia is charged with murder of a federal officer and violence at an international airport.

"We’re really going to draw picture of this person, to help us explain why he chose to do what he did," Bowdich explained.

As the investigation into why continues, so does the mourning for the lost.

"We are all heartbroken,” said Ana Hernandez, the victim’s wife.

Gerardo Hernandez had been stationed at LAX as a transportation security officer since 2010.

"He was a joyful person. He took pride in his duty for the American public and for the TSA mission," Hernandez recalled.

This duty made him the first line of defense when it comes to airport security, according to TSA administrator John Pistole.

"We want to do everything to support and work with the police to make sure we're doing everything possible to prevent something like this from happening again," Pistole said.

With LAX back in full operation, authorities continue to search for clues as to what led to the violence.

The charges against Ciancia carry a penalty of death or life without parole. They say they have yet to interview the suspect because he is under medical care and unresponsive at a local hospital.

Tags: shooting, Gerardo Hernandez, John Pistole, lax, paul anthony ciancia, TSA agent, NBC News Dan Scheneman, David L. Bowdich, Andre Birotte Jr, Ana Hernandez
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