The cable news nets are all over it as I write this. Early details:
A gunman opened fire at a security checkpoint Friday morning at Los Angeles International Airport, injuring a Transportation Security Administration employee and prompting a terminal evacuation.
A TSA spokesperson told NBC4 the shooting occurred at a security checkpoint. A traveler told NBC4 she heard gunfire in Tom Bradley Terminal, where she was preparing to board a flight to Mexico aboard Virgin America.
A medical triage area was established outside the terminal…
Details regarding the status of the gunman were not immediately available. Pugh told NBC4 he believes the gunman was in custody.
Fox News aired video at around 1 p.m. ET of a TSA officer, with blood on one of his hands, walking with a cop in armor. He had to sit down next to an overpass wall but the fact that he was on his feet initially is, I take it, a good sign.
Two of the “Mythbusters” guys were there when it all went down:
We are being shuttled away from the terminal now. Eye witness said the shooter had an assault riffle. pic.twitter.com/euFxdEo0z7
— Tory Belleci (@ToryBelleci) November 1, 2013
If it really was a rifle instead of a handgun, then I assume it was pre-planned rather than a confrontation that got out of hand when a concealed weapon was discovered by security. Just a hunch, though. Stand by for updates.
Update: I don’t think I’ve ever blogged a story about a mass shooting that didn’t include, at some point, a report that there’s more than one suspect. So, grain of salt on this, but here’s something from CBS LA:
— Tom (T.J.) Wait (@CBSLATom) November 1, 2013
— Tom (T.J.) Wait (@CBSLATom) November 1, 2013
Same guy says there are four wounded.
Update: “Pre-planned” hunch looking stronger:
JUST IN: Bob Orr reports preliminary evidence shows the shooter entered Terminal 3 wearing camouflage gear and opened fire. #LAXShooting
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 1, 2013
Update: “Preliminary indications show that the suspect(s) was targeting TSA employees, according to Miller.”
Update: A little more from NBC LA.
Initial reports indicated that a gunman approached a document checker, then pulled a firearm and fired one shot at the security officer, according to NBC’s Pete Williams.
Pugh told NBC4 he believes the gunman was in custody, but authorities have not confirmed details.
“He ran across the tarmac to get away and was put on ground and cuffed,” Pugh said.
That makes it sound like the weapon was concealed. There are some reports on Twitter that he used not a rifle but a shotgun, which would be easier to conceal. On the other hand, CNN says that “multiple” shots were fired in “rapid succession.” Nothing certain yet.
Update: Okay, gun experts. What is it?
Update: A source tells CNN that the suspect is indeed in custody, and that he was shot.
Update: Awful news from Pete Williams: A TSA agent who was shot has died.
Update: Here’s a better look at the weapon. The LAPD will hold a presser at 2:30 ET, but in the meantime they say that one suspect is in custody. I haven’t heard anything about a manhunt for another so maybe the initial report about two suspects was — surprise — wrong.
— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) November 1, 2013
Update: Workplace violence?
Update: Not workplace violence?
JUST IN: A federal official tells CBS News the #LAX shooter was NOT a current or former Transportation Security Administration employee
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 1, 2013
Update: NBC says it knows who the gunman is and that he may have been motivated by “anti-government views” based on written material he was carrying. What that means exactly, I don’t know, but the left has been waiting two and a half years, since the story behind the Tucson shooting fell apart on them, to try its “conservatism equals murderous insanity” narrative again. We’ll see what the “materials” say.
The gunman, identified by law-enforcement officials as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, was shot by law enforcement and taken into custody in critical condition. The motive is not clear but it’s believed he had anti-government views based on written materials he was carrying, the officials said.
Federal officials told NBC News it was unclear whether Ciancia was targeting the TSA or was trying to shoot his way through to get further into the airport. But one witness said the shooter, who calmly walking through the terminal with his weapon, approached him with a one-word question.
“All he said was, ‘TSA?’ Just like that,” Leon Saryan told MSNBC.
Update: The AP says Ciancia had a note stating that he wanted to “kill TSA and pigs,” but that’s all they have right now.