The man charged in the shooting death of a TSA officer at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday told investigators he had acted alone, The Associated Press reported.
Federal prosecutors have charged Paul Ciancia, a 23-year-old transplant from Pennsville, N.J., with murder of a federal officer and commissioning violence at an international airport, for which he faces a maximum penalty of either life without parole or the death penalty.
Ciancia, who was injured in the shootout at the airport, told investigators he had been dropped off by a friend shortly before allegedly pulling a semi-automatic rifle from a duffle bag and firing it off in an LAX terminal, wounding four others, including two Transportation Safety Administration officers, according to The Associated Press. He was heavily sedated and under 24-hour guard at a hospital on Sunday after being shot four times, including once in the mouth.
Investigators have not been able to establish a motive as to why Ciancia targeted the agency, though a note found in his duffle bag suggests he wasn't looking to target any specific agents. A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation paraphrased the note to the Associated Press as having read: "Black, white, yellow, brown, I don't discriminate." Ciancia was found with five 30-round magazines on him, as well as hundreds more in his duffle bag.
TSA officials were reviewing safety protocols over the weekend, including whether or not to arm its officers, reported The Los Angeles Times. TSA officers are currently unarmed and do not have arresting authority.
"We will look at what our policies and procedures are and what our policies are and what provides the best possible security," TSA administrator John Pistole told reporters during a news conference on Saturday .
Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association Marshall McClain told the Los Angeles Times patrolling airport police officers were not near the TSA screening when the attack took place, although it was unclear whether their presence could have prevented it. In an effort to subdue concerns that terrorist could breach security checkpoints and reach aircraft and passenger gates, armed police officers had been moved from their fixed positions at TSA screening to patrolling inside and outside passenger terminals.
LAX resumed its normal operations Sunday.