Deadly shooting rampage at LAX shows how easy it is to get a gun into an airport

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Lighted pylons at the Century Boulevard entrance to Los Angeles International Airport, which normally flash in a multicolored sequence, shine a steady blue Saturday evening, Nov. 2, 2013, in honor of Gerardo Hernandez, the Transportation Security Administration officer slain at an LAX terminal Friday. He is the first TSA officer to die in the line of duty in the history of the 12-year-old agency, created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A police entry checkpoint, part of an increased visible police presence, is seen in the foreground. AP Photo/Reed Saxon.
Lighted pylons at the Century Boulevard entrance to Los Angeles International Airport, which normally flash in a multicolored sequence, shine a steady blue Saturday evening, Nov. 2, 2013, in honor of Gerardo Hernandez, the Transportation Security Administration officer slain at an LAX terminal Friday. He is the first TSA officer to die in the line of duty in the history of the 12-year-old agency, created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A police entry checkpoint, part of an increased visible police presence, is seen in the foreground. AP Photo/Reed Saxon.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The gunman accused of shooting employees and terrorizing travelers at Los Angeles International Airport accomplished two of his goals: kill a Transportation Security Administration officer and show how easy it is to get a gun into an airport.

Paul Ciancia’s deadly rampage left investigators to piece together what motivated his hatred toward the agency formed to make air travel safer after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, but could ultimately lead to changes in the way airports are patrolled.

Ciancia was shot four times by airport police, including in the mouth, and remains heavily sedated and under 24-hour armed guard at the hospital, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Sunday. The official was not authorized to speak publicly on the case and requested anonymity.

The FBI said he had a handwritten letter, stating that he made the conscious decision to try to kill multiple TSA officers and “instill fear in your traitorous minds.”

The unemployed motorcycle mechanic who recently moved to Los Angeles from the small, blue-collar town of Pennsville, N.J., had a friend drop him at LAX on Friday just moments before he pulled a .223-caliber assault rifle from his duffel bag and opened fire, killing one TSA officer and wounding three other people, including two more TSA workers.

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