UPDATE: investigators trying to piece together motive for LAX shooting
UPDATE: 3:40 p.m. According to CNN, “Terminal 3 (at Los Angeles International Airport) is now fully reopened and operational,” Gina Marie Lindsey, the head of Los Angeles World Airports, said around 12:10 p.m. (3:10 p.m. ET) Saturday. That’s the terminal where a gunman shot three TSA officers Friday, killing one of them, before being shot himself and taken into custody.
UPDATE 3:28 p.m.- According to MSNBC, Paul Anthony Ciancia is the suspect in the Los Angeles International Airport shooting.
Authorities say they do not believe the 23-year-old has any connection to the TSA, but does hold strong anti-government views.
A group of celebrities were on hand to witness the tragedy as you can see in the tweets below.
LOS ANGELES – Police and other law enforcement officials continue to investigate a deadly shooting that tore through LAX Friday morning.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says officers were called to terminal 3 of the airport around 9:20 a.m. after a gunman pulled out an assault rifle from a bag.
Chief Patrick Gannon, from the Los Angeles International Airport Police Department, said the gunman began opening fire in the terminal before heading to the TSA screening area and shooting at screeners.
Multiple people were shot, including one person who died, and other victims suffered other types of injuries.
NBC News is reporting that the person who was killed was a TSA agent.
It was originally reported that the gunman opened fire at a document checkpoint, where agents check your boarding pass and ID, in terminal 3.
Gannon said, “This individual was shooting as he was going into the terminal. The officers didn’t, I repeat, didn’t hesitate. They went after this individual and they confronted this individual in our airport. And unfortunately, it involved an officer-involved shooting but that’s what needed to be done in that particular situation. And that was heroic.”
The suspect was injured and is now in custody.
Gannon says at this time, they believe there was only one shooter involved in the attack.
He said, “As we stand here right now, there is only one individual that is responsible for this as we know, as the active shooter that was in our terminal.”
Officers have completed a sweep throughout the airport.
After the sweep, they believe the incident was only tied to terminal 3.
Officials say LAX is still accepting flights but it is at a limited capacity at this time.
The airport is only accepting flights from the south airfield.
Passengers who were at the airport waiting for flights when the shooting occurred have either left on a plane or are being held in their terminal.
Jim Featherstone, the head of the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, says the Los Angeles Fire Department has treated seven patients, with six of those patients being taken to area hospitals.
Chief Charlie Beck, with the Los Angeles Police Department, said, “We will treat this incident with the unified command. Many, many details that you are interested in will not be given out at this point. We will not speak about the nature of the injuries. We will not speak about the identity of the suspect. The investigation is being handled by the FBI, with the cooperation of the Los Angeles Police Department.”
KCBS in Los Angeles has reported that the suspect is an off-duty TSA agent but officials say they are not confirming anything related to the suspect’s identity at this time.
Special Agent David Bowdich, with the FBI, said, “I’m not going to talk about the victims. We still have people that we have to be in contact with in the meantime.”
He added, “At this time, we do not see any additional threats at the airport.”
Officials also credited the Los Angeles World Airport Police Department with saving lives
Mike Bonan. Los Angeles city council member, said, “There is a natural instinct when you hear gunfire to flee or to duck. The folks who are here today coordinating are the folks who, when they hear those gunshots, run towards them and save lives.”
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