Terminal 3 to remain closed
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference that Terminal 3 would remain closed for an “indefinite” period.
A gunman killed one Transportation Security Administration employee and injured multiple people at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday. Flights were grounded and part of the airport was shut down. Police have said there was a single shooter and that the suspect is in custody. Stay with us for the latest updates.
Here is a graphic showing where the shooting occurred today at the Los Angeles airport.
A. 9.20 a.m.: A gunman reportedly outfitted in camouflage pulled a rifle from a bag and opened fire at the entrance to Terminal 3.
B. At least six people were wounded and one Transportation Security Administration officer was killed.
C. Airport police responded to the gunfire and trailed the gunman after he crossed through a security checkpoint in the terminal.
D. The gunman got past the security checkpoint and moved farther into the terminal, trailing police tracked him down and shot him near a Burger King and took him into custody.
Here is where things stand right now:
• A gunman opened fire shortly before 9:30 a.m. (local time) at the Los Angeles airport Friday, killing one Transportation Security Administration employee and injuring multiple other people.
• Multiple TSA agents were wounded, though it’s unknown right now exactly how many.
• Six people were taken to area hospitals. Three of these people, all adult men, were taken to the hospital at UCLA; one person is in critical condition, while the other two have injuries that are not life-threatening.
• A suspect in the shootings has been identified by multiple sources as Paul Ciancia.
• According to authorities, the shooter took a rifle out of his bag and opened fire in the area where TSA screeners are and in the terminal.
• The Associated Press is reporting that the shooter was wearing fatigues and carrying a bag with a hand-written note that said he “wanted to kill TSA and pigs.” The Washington Post has not independently confirmed this report.
• Flights to the airport were halted due to the shooting. Some were diverted to other area airports, while scores of flights to or from the airport today were canceled.
And there are lingering questions:
• Very little is known so far about the suspected shooter.
• The TSA agent killed has not been officially identified. Similarly, the other people injured at the airport have not been identified, nor have authorities confirmed yet how many people were injured in the shooting.
• For travelers, the ground stop affecting arriving flights remains in effect, and it is unclear when normal flight operations will resume. Similarly, many people inside terminals at the Los Angeles airport remain kept inside as authorities investigate the scene. It is unknown exactly when all of these people will be able to leave.
Rand Beers, acting Secretary of Homeland Security, released a statement Friday offering thoughts and prayers to the family of the TSA worker killed “as well as the additional individuals, including TSA employees, who were injured in the incident.”
After the shooting, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded flights scheduled to arrive at the Los Angeles airport. Flights were diverted to other airports in the region. And dozens of flights heading to or from the Los Angeles airport were canceled, according to Flight Aware.
The ground stop remains in effect, so expect delays to last into the evening. Contact your airline if you are flying tonight.
Two sources have told Sari Horwitz that the suspect’s name is Paul Ciancia, confirming the earlier reporting by the Associated Press and NBC News.
Friday’s incident raises questions about how secure the airport screening process is more than a decade after Sept. 11, 2001, as airports in the Washington area increased security after the shooting.
A series of reports, including one as recent as July, identified issues with the TSA screening process. Last year, Congress held hearings after a May 2012 Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s report found that while the agency has a system in place for tracking security breaches, it did not have a centralized program that would allow TSA officials to track all breaches.
The IG found that local TSA airport officials did not properly track security problems, and even when security vulnerabilities were identified, corrective actions we taken only 53 percent of the time, the report said.
The shooting at LAX comes at a time when the agency is trying to be more user-friendly by loosening some screening restrictions for senior citizens and children. TSA also recently expanded its Pre-Check program which allows pre-screened passengers who pay a fee to move more quickly through security.
The Associated Press is reporting additional details about the shooter who opened fire at the airport today:
He was wearing fatigues and carrying a bag containing a hand-written note that said he “wanted to kill TSA and pigs,” the official said, who was briefed at LAX on the investigation and requested anonymity because was he was not authorized to speak publicly.
In addition, they added details about what happened inside Terminal 3:
As gunshots rang out in Terminal 3, panicked fliers dropped to the ground. Those who had made it past security fled onto the tarmac or sought cover inside restaurants and lounges.
“We just hit the deck. Everybody in the line hit the floor and shots just continued,” said Xavier Savant, who was waiting in the security line where the shooting occurred. He described it as a “Bam! Bam! Bam!” burst of gunfire.
President Obama said Friday afternoon that he is “concerned” about the airport shooting. But he declined to comment further, saying, “I’ll let the law enforcement folks talk about it directly.”
Obama’s comments to reporters came during an Oval Office meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Flights leaving LAX have been halted due to the shooting earlier today. The airport just reported on its official Twitter feed that as soon as law enforcement officials have cleared Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 — the last of those being the site of the shooting — flights will be allowed to depart the airport again.
The Associated Press, citing law enforcement officials, have identified the shooting suspect as Paul Ciancia, 23. Pete Williams of NBC News also reported that this was the name of the shooting suspect. The Washington Post has not independently confirmed these reports.
Bill Reiter, a columnist for Fox Sports, is tweeting updates from inside the airport:
Announcement: "Here's the deal. We're here and we can't leave. We don't know when that'll change."
— Bill Reiter (@foxsportsreiter) November 1, 2013
They've just announced the Red Cross is bringing in food, meaning west be here a long time
— Bill Reiter (@foxsportsreiter) November 1, 2013
They just announced there's now a lost dog here. We are quickly becoming a small, dysfunctional city.
— Bill Reiter (@foxsportsreiter) November 1, 2013
The situation at the Los Angeles airport remains quite chaotic, with a lot of confusion remaining and uncertainty over what we know and what we don’t know.
Here is what we do know as of 4:10 p.m.:
• A gunman opened fire shortly before 9:30 a.m. (local time) in Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport.
• Police believe there was one shooter. The suspect is in custody.
• The gunman took an assault rifle out of his bag and opened fire in the terminal, returned to the area where the Transportation Security Administration screeners were and then went back toward the terminal.
• One TSA agent was fatally shot.
• Multiple TSA agents were wounded, though it is unclear how many.
• Six people have been taken to area hospitals.
• At least one of those people is in critical condition. Another two have injuries that are not life-threatening.
Many other additional details — including the name of the shooter and the names of the people injured or killed in the shootings — remain unconfirmed at this time.
The Transportation Security Administration issued a statement a short time ago, saying that “multiple” security officers at the Los Angeles airport were shot and confirming that one of these officers was killed.
John Pistole, administrator of the agency, also sent out an e-mail to employees a short time ago:
I am deeply saddened to inform you that a TSA employee was shot and killed today while on duty at Los Angeles International Airport. Other TSA employees also were injured in the shooting.
The gunman is in custody and we are working with local law enforcement to help ensure the safety of our employees.
The suspected shooter is alive and being treated at a local hospital, a law enforcement official tells Sari Horwitz.
Reuters has posted video footage showing the scene at the airport earlier today. It’s important to note that this footage is graphic and shows people who may have been wounded in the shooting, so be advised before watching it.
Three adult men were taken to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after the shooting, a hospital official said during a news conference.
Two of the people have wounds that are not life threatening, while one of the people at the hospital is in critical condition, she said.
Multiple law enforcement officials confirm to Sari Horwitz that one Transportation Security Administration employee was killed in Friday’s shooting.
In response to the shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority have increased patrols and officer presence at Reagan National and Dulles International airports.
MWAA Police Chief Stephen Holl said law enforcement officials are particularly focused on security checkpoints following reports that the shooting took place near a security checkpoint at LAX.