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Gunman Kills TSA Agent at LAX, Injures 2 Others

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Published on Nov 1, 2013

UPDATE (AP):Law enforcement officials identify shooting suspect as 23-year-old Paul Ciancia.----LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle opened
fire at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, killing a
Transportation Security Administration employee and wounding two other
people in an attack that frightened passengers and disrupted flights
nationwide, officials said. Los Angeles police Assistant Chief
Earl Paysinger said the unidentified suspect, who was apparently injured
following an exchange of gunfire with officers, was in custody. Tim
Kauffman, a spokesman for the American Federation of Government
Employees in Washington, confirmed Friday that a TSA officer was killed.
Kauffman said the union's information comes from their local officials
in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon
said the gunman pulled what he described as an assault rifle from a
bag and began firing. As you can imagine, a large amount of chaos took
place in this entire incident, he said. Some passengers who
already had cleared security rushed onto the tarmac to evacuate, while
others were locked down in airport restaurants and lounges. The airport
was being swept for precautionary measures and the bomb unit was on
scene. Air traffic was affected nationwide as the FAA grounded flights that had not yet departed for LAX. Witness
Brian Keech said he heard about a dozen gunshots from inside a
security gate at the terminal, which has been evacuated. Ben
Rosen was sitting at the Starbucks in Terminal 3 eating oatmeal at about
9:20 a.m. when he heard gunfire erupt and people start running in all
directions and others crouching on the ground. Rosen got on the ground
and another passenger said don't worry we're safe. Then more
gunshots erupted. He grabbed his phone and tried to lie down as flat on
the ground as he could. Police showed up with their guns drawn,
shouting, This is not a drill, hands up. Everyone put their hands up and then were led out of the airport terminal to the international terminal, Rosen said. 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. The
Federal Aviation Administration said a ground stop was in affect for
all flights heading to Los Angeles, meaning planes in any other airport
in the country can't take off for the city, although some flights
already in the air were allowed to land. LAX air traffic controller Michael Foote said some flights were still being allowed to depart. Foote
said his colleagues in the control tower saw passengers spilling from
the terminal onto the tarmac, evacuating the building, getting out as
fast as they could. Officers eventually corralled them. Other
travelers described a chaotic scene as airport security staff evacuated
terminals, including onto to the tarmac. Hundreds of people remained
gathered outside next to airplanes as authorities investigated what
happened. People started saying there's a shooter, there's a
shooter, said Natalie Morin, a senior at USC who was heading to San
Francisco for a graduate school interview. Emergency crews
responded to a multi-patient incident, Fire Department spokesman Brian
Humphrey said. Terminal 3 is home to Virgin America and other airlines.
2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about
our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.Photo: Twitter/AlienGurudeva

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