(FOX 11 /CNS) - A Sun Valley man accused of opening fire inside Terminal 3 of Los Angeles International Airport, killing a Transportation Security Administration officer, was indicted today by a federal grand jury on 11 counts, including first-degree murder.
Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, allegedly walked into the terminal the morning of Nov. 1, pulled an assault weapon out of a duffel bag and opened fire.
Authorities said he was specifically targeting TSA officers as he shot his way past a security checkpoint and into the gate area.
He was eventually shot by police, but not before TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez, a 39-year-old father of two, was fatally shot. Authorities said Ciancia shot Hernandez at a lower-level passenger check-in station and began walking upstairs, but returned when he realized Hernandez was still alive and shot him again.
The indictment identified the weapon used in the shooting as a Smith & Wesson 5.56-mm M&P15 semiautomatic rifle.
In addition to first-degree murder, the indictment also charges Ciancia with two counts of attempted murder for the shootings of TSA Officers Tony
Grigsby and James Speer, who were wounded in the attack.
He was also charged with committing acts of violence at an international
airport, one count of using a firearm to commit murder, three counts of brandishing and discharging a firearm.
The charges carry a possible death sentence, although federal prosecutors say they have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.
During the shooting, Ciancia was allegedly a signed note saying he wanted to kill TSA agents and "instill fear in their traitorous minds," authorities said. Witnesses to the shooting said the gunman asked them whether they worked for the TSA, and if they said no, he moved on.
The indictment replaces a criminal complaint that was filed shortly after the shooting, accusing Ciancia of murder.
Ciancia remains jailed without bail. He is schedule to be arraigned on the charges included in the indictment Dec. 26.
(Fox 11/AP) -- An autopsy shows a security officer killed by a gunman at Los Angeles International Airport had been shot 12 times.
The report released Friday by the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez had 40 bullet fragments in his body that were sent to the FBI.
Coroner's officials said previously the 39-year-old Hernandez died between two and five minutes after being shot on Nov. 1 in Terminal 3.
Authorities say 23-year-old Paul Ciancia was targeting TSA officers in a vendetta against the federal government when he pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and shot Hernandez.
Two other TSA employees and an airline passenger were wounded before airport police shot Ciancia, who has been charged with murder.
The Hernandez Family has established a memorial fund in Officer Hernandez's name. Checks may be made payable to the Gerardo Ismael Hernandez Memorial Fund and sent to the following address:
Gerardo Ismael Hernandez Memorial Fund
c/o First Entertainment Credit Union
6735 Forest Lawn Drive
Questions regarding donations should be addressed to First Entertainment Credit Union at 1-888-800-3328.
From Sandra Endo:
With heavy hearts, friends and TSA family members of slain officer Gerardo Hernandez shared memories of the beloved 39-year-old at a candlelight vigil Monday evening. He is the first TSA officer to be killed in the line of duty.
Sheleta Fraser was his TSA supervisor, "He looked at me as his mentor, I look at him tonight as my hero, like I said earlier, he took one for the team because it could have been much worse."
Earlier today, another TSA victim who survived the rampage, limped to the microphones with the help of a cane after being shot in the foot. 36-year-old Tony Grigsby spoke out for the first time since the shooting Friday, he too remembered officer Hernandez. "Only now has it hit me I will never see him again. He's a wonderful person, a friend and I will miss him."
Grigsby says he became a TSA officer to help people and to protect people. He says he was helping an elderly man get to safety when he was caught in the line of fire.
Another TSA officer James Speer also suffered a gunshot wound Friday as did a passenger, Brian Ludmer. Ludmer is a beloved Calabasas high school teacher. He was shot in the leg but managed to hide in a closet until it was safe to come out.
Students are reportedly planning a walkout against gun violence tomorrow in support of their teacher.
(FOX 11/AP) - The 100-foot pylons at Los Angeles International Airport will be lit blue this weekend in honor of a transportation security officer who was killed in a shooting.
Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39, of Los Angeles, is the Transportation Security Administration officer who was fatally shot Friday morning at the airport. He was the first TSA official in the agency's 12-year history to be killed in the line of duty.
Authorities say 23-year-old Paul Ciancia strolled into Terminal 3 Friday, pulled a semi-automatic rifle from his duffel bag and started firing at TSA officers.
TSA Administrator John Pistole met with Hernandez's family Saturday afternoon.
"No words can explain the horror that we experienced today when a shooter took the life of a member of our family and injured two TSA officers at Los Angeles International Airport," Pistole said in a statement released Friday.
Fellow screeners and law enforcement officials wore black mourning bands in Hernandez's memory.
Five others, including two more TSA workers and the gunman, were injured.