Wed. 3:45 p.m.: L.A. airport shooting suspect appears in court
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) – A man charged with killing a Transportation Security Administration officer and wounding three others during a rampage at Los Angeles International Airport made his first court appearance Wednesday with bruises on his face and a bandage on his neck.
It was the first time Paul Ciancia has been seen in public since the Nov. 1 attack.
The 23-year-old spoke in whispers and showed no emotion during the 10-minute hearing in the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, about 45 miles east of Los Angeles. He’s being housed at the facility in federal custody.
U.S. Magistrate Judge David Bristow asked the diminutive, slender Ciancia if he understood the charges against him.
“Yes,” responded Ciancia, who was shackled at his hands and feet and had a bandage on his neck and bruises on the right side of his face.
The unemployed motorcycle mechanic did not enter a plea to a murder charge that carries a possible death penalty if he’s convicted.
Bristow determined Ciancia was a flight risk and posed a danger to the community, and he ordered him to remain behind bars. The next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 18, but it could be waived if a grand jury indicts Ciancia.
Investigators said Ciancia walked into LAX’s Terminal 3, pulled out an assault rifle from a duffel bag and fired repeatedly at TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez.
An autopsy showed Hernandez, 39, was shot a dozen times.
Ciancia then fired on two other uniformed TSA employees and an airline passenger, who all were wounded, as he moved through the security checkpoint to the passenger gate area, authorities said.
Airport police shot Ciancia four times, including once in the mouth, as panicked travelers either hid or fled.
Investigators have said Ciancia had a vendetta against the federal government and targeted TSA officers.
His attorneys, who are both deputy federal public defenders, declined to comment after the hearing.