Sarah Jean Seman

UPDATE II: TSA agent, Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39, has been confirmed dead after being shot in LAX Friday morning. The officer is the first to have died in the agency's history.

The shooter has been identified as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia. The man sent a suicidal text message to a sibling in New Jersey Friday. Ciancia also carried a note accusing TSA security of infringing on his constitutional rights. According to the Associated Press:

Airport police officers shot the gunman four times, including in the mouth and leg, during a shootout in front of a Burger King in the terminal.

A law enforcement official said the gunman was dressed in fatigues and carried at least five full 30-round magazines of ammunition. In his bag he had a one-page, handwritten note that said he wanted to kill TSA employees and "pigs."

The official, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the note referred to how the gunman believed his constitutional rights were being violated by TSA searches and that he was a "pissed-off patriot" upset at former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

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UPDATE: The situation at LAX is believed to be static and safe for everyone in the airport, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a press conference at 11:30 a.m. (PST).

Seven people have been hospitalized, confirmed acting Los Angeles Fire Chief James Featherstone.

Los Angeles Police Chief Patrick Gannon would not confirm the reported death of the shot TSA agent.

The unidentified shooter pulled an assault rifle out of a bag and continued past screeners and into the airport itself, the LAPD stated.

Security sweeps have been made of the entire airport and flights have continued, but at a much slower pace.

“At this point we do not see any additional threats,” said FBI Special Agent David Bowdich.

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A gunman opened fire Friday morning at the Los Angeles International Airport, injuring a Transportation Security Administration employee and causing a prompt evacuation of Terminal three, according to the Associated Press. Airport officials also stated that flights have been grounded.

The incident was reported around 9:30 a.m. (PST) and police and paramedics surrounded the terminal.

Eyewitness Leon Saryanm said he came face-to-face with the shooter:

"One guy came through that I saw. And he had a rifle in his hand. He looked at me and said, 'TSA?' And I just shook my head and he kept going."

Another witness told NBC4 he heard the gunshots go off. "We were just standing there and someone started shooting," witness Nick Pugh told NBC4, "I heard a total of maybe eight or 10 shots fired."

As reported by NBC4:

“A TSA spokesperson told NBC4 the shooting occurred at a security checkpoint. A traveler told NBC4 she heard gunfire in Tom Bradley Terminal, where she was preparing to board a flight to Mexico aboard Virgin America.

Details regarding the status of the gunman were not immediately available. Pugh told NBC4 he believes the gunman was in custody.

LAPD issued a tactical alert. Aerial video showed travelers running from the Tom Bradley Terminal, where passengers depart and arrive for international flights.

Aerial video showed officers escorting people -- some in wheelchairs -- from the terminal. Several ambulances responded to the location on the departure level.

Roads near the airport are closed for the investigation.”


Sarah Jean Seman

Sarah Jean Seman is a Townhall Web Editor. Follow Sarah Jean Seman on Twitter @sarah_jean_

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography