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In this aerial video frame grab provided by CBS-LA, fire and rescue personnel gather at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday Nov. 1, 2013. Shots were fired Friday at Los Angeles International Airport, prompting authorities to evacuate a terminal and stop flights headed for the city from taking off from other airports. (AP Photo/CBS-LA)

Suspect in LAX Shooting in Custody



LOS ANGELES (AP) - A gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire at the Los Angeles International Airport, killing a Transportation Security Administration employee and wounding two other people.
  
Tim Kauffman, a spokesman for the American Federation of Government Employees in Washington, confirmed Friday that a TSA officer was killed.
  
He says the union's information comes from their local officials in Los Angeles.
  
A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that the suspect in the Los Angeles airport shooting is a 23-year-old man from New Jersey who wrote a rant about killing Transportation Safety Administration workers.

A law enforcement official, who was briefed at LAX on the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly, said the gunman was wearing fatigues and carrying a bag containing a hand-written note that said he "wanted to kill TSA and pigs." The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The official identified him as Paul Ciancia. A second law enforcement official confirmed the identity, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The attack frightened passengers and disrupted flights nationwide.
  
Police said the unidentified suspect, who was apparently injured following an exchange of gunfire with officers, was in custody.

Airport staff evacuated travelers and flights were disrupted nationwide.

Witness Brian Keech told The Associated Press he heard "about a dozen gunshots" from inside a security gate at the terminal, which has been evacuated.

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.


 


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