News

Accused LAX gunman pleads not guilty

Accused LAX gunman pleads not guilty

NOT GUILTY PLEA: Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, pleaded not guilty in the shooting of a TSA officer at LAX. Photo: Reuters/FBI

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -Accused Los Angeles airport gunman Paul Anthony Ciancia pleaded not guilty on Thursday to all charges in an 11-count federal indictment against him.

Ciancia, 23, spoke softly in a federal court appearance at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga as he entered his plea to charges of murder of a federal officer and other counts in connection with the Nov. 1 shooting spree.

On Dec. 4, U.S. Magistrate Judge David Bristow ordered Ciancia held without bond after finding he posed a danger to the community and represented a potential flight risk. Ciancia did not enter a plea at that hearing.

Three charges in the 11-count indictment against Ciancia carry a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty; federal prosecutors have not decided yet whether to seek capital punishment if Ciancia is convicted.

In addition to a single count of murder and two counts of attempted murder of federal officers, Ciancia was indicted on four counts of committing an act of violence at an international airport and four counts of firearms offenses.

Ciancia is accused of walking into Terminal 3 at the airport, removing a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and opening fire on an unarmed Transportation Security Administration officer standing at the entrance to a security checkpoint.

The TSA agent, Gerardo Hernandez, 39, was the first agent slain in the line of duty since the agency was created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Authorities say Ciancia then stalked past metal detectors through the checkpoint and into the airplane-boarding area, shooting and wounding two other TSA employees and a traveler before he was critically wounded in a gunfight with police at one of the world’s busiest airports.

Ciancia’s hearing will be held at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, located east of Los Angeles in San Bernardino County, because Ciancia is being treated for his injuries there.

(Reporting by Dana Feldman; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment, Lifestyle

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: 26 freebies to help you celebrate

birthday

On your birthday you can have your (free) cake and eat it too!

in Local

WATCH: Country star Thomas Rhett honors Lynden teen who died in car crash

Fresh
Sophia-Milstead-Twitter

After Lynden High graduate, Sofia Milstead died on her way to a country music concert, she was honored on stage by country music star Thomas Rhett.

in Local

State gas tax increases by 7 cents

Fresh
gas buddy

Tax hike took effect Saturday

in Local

Ferndale teen killed in crash was wearing seatbelt

Fresh
ambulance

Initial report said 19-year-old was unbuckled

in Local

Viewer tip leads police to Bellingham robbery suspect

Fresh
generic police suspect or criminal in handcuffs

Suspect lived on Chuckanut Drive at time of robberies