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Gunman opens fire at LAX, killing TSA worker and wounding others

9:09 PM, Nov 1, 2013   |    comments
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  • Suspect Paul Anthony Ciancia
  • Emergency officials at LAX (Photo: CNN)
  • Passengers evacuate the Los Angeles International Airport on Friday Nov. 1, 2013, after shots were fired prompting authorities to evacuate a terminal and stop flights headed for the city from taking off from other airports. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
    

A man carrying anti-government material and an assault rifle shot his way through security at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, killing one Transportation Security Administration worker and wounding as many as three others - after sending a suicidal text message to his family, authorities said.

A man carrying anti-government material and an assault rifle shot his way through security at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, killing one Transportation Security Administration worker and wounding as many as three others - after sending a suicidal text message to his family, authorities said.

Officials said at a news conference Friday afternoon that the crime scene is extensive and authorities are still investigating the suspect's background. While airport terminals 1 and 2 are being reopened, Terminal 3 remains shut down, officials said.

The motive is not clear but it's believed the suspect had anti-government views based on written materials he was carrying, the officials said. He texted his brother in New Jersey before the shooting and said he was thinking about killing himself, police told NBC Philadelphia.

Federal officials told NBC News it was unclear whether Ciancia was targeting the TSA or was trying to gun his way further into the airport. But one witness said the shooter, 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.

The shooting started at about 9:20 a.m. local time at Terminal 3, which serves Virgin America and other airlines.

The suspect walked through an "exit" lane reserved for passengers leaving the secure area of the airport, pulled the .223-caliber semiautomatic assault-style rifle out of a bag and opened fire at the security checkpoint, officials said.

By Pete Williams, Andrew Blankstein, Erin McClam and Tracy Connor, NBC News

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