LOS ANGELES — The gunman charged in the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport lay bloodied and handcuffed on the floor of Terminal 3 after being gunned down by police, but he replied to critical questions that helped authorities lock down the scene.
Paul A. Ciancia, 23, was hauled away moments later on a stretcher and then heavily sedated for medical reasons, but not before he told investigators he had acted alone when he opened fire in the terminal, the Associated Press reported Sunday, citing an unnamed law enforcement official who has been briefed on the investigation.
Ciancia, an unemployed motorcycle mechanic who moved to Los Angeles from the small, blue-collar town of Pennsville, N.J., also told police a friend had dropped him at LAX on Friday just moments before he shot a Transportation Security Administration officer at point-blank range and wounded three other people, including two more TSA workers.
Officials do not believe that the friend knew of the shooter's plans. Ciancia arrived at the airport in a black Hyundai and was not a ticketed passenger.
Ciancia was under 24-hour armed guard at the hospital Sunday after being shot four times. He was sedated for medical reasons, the official said.
He is facing charges of murder of a federal officer and committing violence at an international airport. The charges could qualify him for the death penalty.
In court documents and interviews, authorities say Ciancia walked into the airport, pulled a .223-caliber assault rifle from his duffel bag and fired repeatedly at TSA officer Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39. He turned back to see Hernandez and to move to shoot him again, investigators say.
Ciancia then fired on two other uniformed TSA employees and an airline passenger, who all were wounded, as he moved methodically through the security checkpoint before airport police shot him as panicked travelers hid in stores and restaurants.
It wasn't clear why Ciancia targeted TSA officers.