LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The family of the man accused of opening fire inside a Los Angeles International Airport terminal, killing a security agent and wounding several other people, said today they were cooperating with the investigation into the shooting and sent sympathies to relatives of the agent who died.
Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, remains hospitalized -- under sedation and under guard -- while the investigation continued into what sparked Friday's shooting rampage inside Terminal 3, killing
``We like most Americans are shocked and numbed by the tragic events of last Friday,'' according to a Ciancia family statement read by attorney John Jordan in
``It is most important for us as a family to express our deep and since sympathy to the Hernandez family,'' according to the family. ``By all accounts, Officer Hernandez was an exemplary member of the law enforcement community and a good family man. Our hearts go out to his family and many others who grieve his passing.
``We wish to convey too our hopes that those who were wounded during this incident will experience quick and full recoveries,'' according to the family. ``We also regret the inconvenience experienced by thousands of travelers as well as the administration and employees of the
``Paul is our son and brother, and we will continue to love him and care for him. We will support him during the difficult times ahead. While we do not mean to minimize the grief and distress experienced by many other families, we hope that the public will understand that this is a very difficult time for our family too. The Ciancia family, our neighbors and friends need time to heal, so we ask that you respect our privacy.''
The family's statement came as operations returned to normal at LAX after days of canceled and delayed flights that reverberated throughout the nation.
On Sunday, passengers returned to Terminal 3 to pick up their abandoned belongings. Drivers also were allowed to pick up their cars in the terminal's parking garage. Many would-be passengers were still stranded in the
One of of the victims of the shooting, 29-year-old Brian Ludmer, was upgraded to good condition today at
The Justice Department on Saturday filed a charge of murder of a federal official against Ciancia, along with a charge of commission of violence at an American airport.
Under federal law and policy, Justice Department officials in
``His intention was very, very clear,'' said David Bowdich, FBI special agent in charge in
The FBI has been unable to interrogate Ciancia, hospitalized with four gunshot wounds, including one to his head.
"He has been receiving medical treatment, but at this point, he is unresponsive,'' Bowdich said.
Bowdich said Ciancia was the lone gunman who killed Hernandez, shot and injured four others and caused two others to be injured in the ensuing panic.
The chief federal prosecutor for
Ciancia also carried a signed, handwritten note in his duffel bag, Birotte said.
A woman acquainted with Ciancia and his roommates told
``That morning, he doesn't knock, he just opens the door and says, `I need to leave. Can you take me now?' '' she said.
The woman -- who requested anonymity -- said a short time after Ciancia and the roommate left for the airport, police arrived at the residence looking for Ciancia.
``They heard that Paul was suicidal and they needed to do a welfare check on him,'' she said.
She said the roommate who took Ciancia to LAX was unaware of his deadly plans, not finding out about the shooting spree until arriving back at the home and seeing televised accounts of it.
Ciancia hunted down Transportation Security Administration officers and had written in the note he was carrying that he wanted to instill fear into the ``traitorous minds'' of
Bowdich said video shows Ciancia shooting Hernandez ``multiple times and at point blank range'' before going up a short escalator to the inspection area.
He then walked back down to again shoot Hernandez, according to Bowdich.
The agency has requested anyone at the airport who shot images or made recordings to upload them to a specific website: https://laxshootingtips.fbi.gov
Information can also be submitted by phone through a tip line: (888) 226- 8443.
City Councilman Mike Bonin called the airport police officers' response to the shooting ``textbook,'' and saved ``untold lives.''