Federal grand jury indicts LAX shooting suspect

MGN Online
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 9:24pm

A federal grand jury on Tuesday charged Paul Ciancia with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a Transportation Security Administration officer at Los Angeles International Airport.

Investigators say Ciancia, 23, killed TSA officer Gerardo Hernandez and wounded two other agents and a passenger in what appeared to be an orchestrated assault on members of the federal agency responsible for airport security.

He faces a total of 11 counts in the November 1 rampage, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.

Three charges based on the killing of Hernandez -- first-degree murder, violence at an international airport that resulted in death and using a firearm to murder and cause death -- carry possible sentences of life in federal prison or the death penalty.

Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty if Ciancia is convicted, the statement read.

Ciancia, who was shot multiple times by police during the incident, is scheduled to be arraigned on December 26.

He was released last month from the hospital and taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Relatives in New Jersey had received alarming texts from Ciancia before the shootings and raised concerns with local police, who had asked Los Angeles police to check on his welfare. Police missed Ciancia by "a matter of minutes" on the day of the shooting, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN.

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