A gunman with an assault rifle opened fire in a crowded terminal at Los Angeles International Airport Friday, killing a TSA employee and injuring at least six before being wounded and taken into custody.I've been listening to radio reports since an hour after this started, and as of this time (8:30pm, Pacific time) the reports are still full of disinformation" and confusing.
The suspect was identified by federal authorities late Friday as Paul Ciancia, 23, a Los Angeles resident, Fox News reported.
The FBI said it had not interviewed him because he was hospitalized but expected to speak to him as soon as possible. A note was recovered from a bag he dropped at a security checkpoint. It was described to Fox News as containing threatening language directed at the TSA and anti-government rants.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the gunman had an additional 100 rounds of ammunition he did not fire.
The best information I have now indicates several salient "facts" (which are not confirmed):
- at least 7 people were shot, at least 6 were hospitalized
- at least one person, a TSA employee , was shot and killed
- the attack was initiated and conducted by a single Caucasian male, who has been identified
- the shooter use an m-15 type rifle, which has been described as an "Assault Rifle" in all news reports and police statements so far
- the attack was initiated outside the "Security Area" .. which means he broke THROUGH the Security perimeter and then attacked other people inside the airport
- the attack was "opposed" by "TSA" officers and police officers
- the attacker was shot and wounded, and the last reports indicate that he did not die as a result of his wounds but is now "in custody"
There are a few things which have NOT been yet officially confirmed:
- The attacker was a TSA officer
- He carried upon his person a "letter" which said, in effect, that he wanted to kill TSA officers, and "cops"
- The weapon he used was an AR15 or similar weapon. No information is yet available to determine whether it was semi- or full-automatic capable. For those of us who care about the definition of "Assault Rifle" ... if it was not full-auto capable, it was not technically an "Assault Rifle"
This was NOT an "Islamic Jihad" attack, but rather it was a case of "Going Postal". You may recall news reports of years ago where an US Postal Service or three attacked and killed several co-workers. We're still not entirely clear on their motivation, but it seemed at the time to be a combination of job dissatisfaction and an inability to abide the personal "quirks" of co-workers. Hence the term.
We're not prepared to state that this "Incident" was, in fact, directly comparable. However, at this time we have no information to suggest the the motivation was politically, racially, religiously, or culturally motivated.
Conspiracy Theory Alert!
Unless someone is doing a really sterling spin-factor job in the very earliest moments of the after-shock, and given the confusion of these "early days" reporting by the oh-so-reliable MSM (I"m basing most of my reportage on the Lars Larson show and his live connections to on-the-scene reporters who are personally known by him), this looks very much like a nut-job shooting by a disgruntled employee.
He knew JUST how far he could get with a rifle-in-a-bag approach.
When he disposed of all security personell at one station, he quietly marched to the next station and attacked the people there.
This suggests "insider knowledge" of the security apparatus.
He probably knew that police and TSA personnel would react quickly, and was not dissuaded; this suggests that these were his primary targets. We don't yet know how many "Civilians" were wounded in the attack, and at this time it's impossible to determine whether his intention was to massacre as many people ("targets of opportunity?") as possible, or if he was goading security personnel.
All we know for sure is that this person ... this "Bad Man" ... shot up a major American airport, and his motivation is still conjectural .. at best.
Also, if his goal was to totally screw up air traffic in the United States during the reaction to his assault? He has accomplished his goal.
I seem to recall some commentary about the "Red Army" (I probably have the nomenclature wrong) training for JUST such an "incident" a few decades ago.
This is a good time for a pithy summary ... but I don't have one to offer. I don't know as much as many of you probably know.
Until we all have more information, we can only conclude one thing: this was the consequence of one young man's overwhelming rage. And we still don't know why.
One is tempted to ascribe motives, due to our "civilized" need to understand aberent behavior.
Let's just call him "Crazy" for now.