Suspect in LAX airport shooting pleads not guilty (updated)

LAX Shooting

Bill Robles/AP

This courtroom drawing shows Paul Ciancia during an appearance at the West Valley Detention Center wearing a bandage on his neck and with bruises on his face on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Ciancia has been charged with killing a Transportation Security Administration officer and wounding three others during a rampage at Los Angeles International Airport. (AP Photo/Bill Robles)

LAX Shooting

FBI/AP

This photo provided by the FBI shows Paul Ciancia, 23. Authorities say Ciancia pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and shot his way past a security checkpoint at the airport, killing a security officer and wounding other people. Ciancia was injured in a shootout and taken into custody, police said. (AP Photo/FBI)


Updated 12:01 p.m.: Paul Ciancia — the man accused of going on a shooting spree last month at Los Angeles International Airport — pleaded not guilty Thursday to 11 federal charges, including the murder of a Transportation Security Administration officer. 

Ciancia entered the not guilty pleas during a brief arraignment hearing at the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino County, where he is being held without bail.

RELATED: KPCC coverage of the shooting at LAX

Cianica is charged with fatally shooting Gerardo Hernandez, the first TSA worker to die on the job. The defendant also pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges related to the shooting of two other TSA officers. A civilian school teacher was also injured in the shooting.

Ciancia is accused of opening fire at LAX's Terminal Three on Nov. 1 with an assault rifle. Prosecutors believe he targeted TSA workers because of an angry note investigators found in the bag that Ciancia allegedly used to carry the weapon into the terminal building.  

Two LAX police officers shot Ciancia before arresting him. The bullets severely injured the 23 year old, and he still requires hospital care at the San Bernardino County jail, where he's being held. 

Ciancia has one more court appearance before his trial, which is set for Feb. 11.

Paul Ciancia Indictment

Updated 11:33 a.m. A man charged with fatally shooting a TSA screener and wounding three other people at Los Angeles International Airport last month has pleaded not guilty.

Paul Anthony Ciancia entered his plea Thursday during a brief appearance before a federal magistrate at a Southern California detention center.

The 23-year-old Ciancia was indicted on first-degree murder and 10 other counts in the Nov. 1 shooting that killed Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez.

Trial is set for Feb. 11 in Los Angeles federal court.

—Linda Deutsch, AP

Earlier: The man authorities say killed a TSA screener and wounded three other people during a rampage through the Los Angeles airport last month is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on murder and other felony charges in a case that could bring the death penalty.

Related: LAX shooting: Paul Ciancia charged with first-degree murder in slaying of TSA officer

Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, is expected to be asked to enter a plea to 11 felony charges, including one of murder and three of attempted murder.

A trial date could also be set at the hearing Thursday at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, where he has been held without bail since soon after his arrest.

Authorities say the unemployed motorcycle mechanic arrived at the airport's Terminal 3 on Nov. 1 with the intention of killing TSA workers. Officials have said Ciancia had a grudge against the agency, but they have not indicated what prompted it.

After entering the terminal, police say Ciancia pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a duffel bag and began spraying the area with gunfire as hundreds of people fled in terror.

TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez was killed. Two other uniformed TSA officers and a traveler were wounded.

Related: LAX shooting: Family, friends rally behind Calabasas high school teacher hurt in attack

Hernandez, 39, became the first TSA officer to die in the line of duty. A coroner's report showed he was struck by a dozen bullets. Witnesses have said that after first shooting him the gunman returned to shoot again when he saw Hernandez move.

Related: Public memorial held for TSA officer killed in LAX shooting

Airport police arrested Ciancia following a gunfight in which they wounded him four times.

An indictment accuses him of "substantial planning and premeditation to cause the death of a person and to commit an act of terrorism."

Authorities say if convicted he could be sentenced to death.

Ciancia is from Pennsville, N.J., and moved to L.A. in 2012.

More in Crime

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus