WATCH: The moment terrified LAX passengers run for their lives from airport gunman who opened fire at security checkpoint killing one TSA agent and injuring three
- Paul Anthony Ciancia, aged 23, from Pennsville, New Jersey named as the gunman
- Shooter was dressed in fatigues and carrying a handwritten note, reading that he 'wanted to kill TSA and pigs'
- Police say shooter’s brother got a text message from Ciancia on Friday saying he was thinking about taking his life
- Passengers fled LA International's terminal 3 shortly before 10am (PST) on Friday after shots fired at checkpoint
- TSA agent shot and killed; one other agent was shot and two others were injured but some of those injuries are classified as evasion injuries meaning that they harmed themselves while trying to get out of the terminal
- This is the first time that a TSA agent has ever been killed in the line of duty
- Gunman entered terminal with assault rifle in a bag and began shooting his way through the airport
- Ciancia had sent multiple rambling 'suicidal' text messages to his family in recent days, causing concern
The LAPD chief has also mandated that all police officers wear black bands on their police badges in his honor.
Witness Stephanie Rosemeyer told the paper that she was waiting to board a flight and was walking near the food court in Terminal 3 when she saw a man carrying a gun walking around while wearing a bulletproof vest.
She said that she locked eyes with the man, who did not appear to be a police officer.
'He looked back at me and said "I don't like this." I took a step toward him,' she told The LA Times.
The man, who is presumably Ciancia, then shouted an expletive about the TSA.
'I decided to walk away, and then I heard gun shots and so I walked faster,' Ms Rosemeyer said.
'I was just getting ready to pick up my shoes and belt and pick up my other stuff... (when) people hit the ground and then started to run,' Mr Saryan told CNN.
He said that while he was going to get his shoes taht were waiting on the conveyer belt, a uniformed TSA agent 'grabbed the shoes and the two of us started running down the corridor towards the gate. This agent got hit it seemed to be a grazing wound.'
WHAT DOES NWO MEAN?
Shooter Paul Anthony Ciancia had 'anti-government' leanings and was reportedly carrying a note which said that he 'wanted to kill TSA and pigs'.
The Los Angeles Times reported that in a note found in his bag, he wrote about his 'disappointment with government' and how he did not intend to injure any civilians, only federal employees.
Sources also added that the note was signed with the letters 'NWO' which stands for 'New World Order'.
The conspiracy theory of a 'new world order' asserts that there is a secret group of powerful individuals who used their money and global influence to eventually gain control of the world.
The concept of the New World Order has many different strains that have evolved over time, and has come to include mysterious elite groups like the Illuminati and the Freemasons.
Some of the more radical conspiracy theorists believe that the secret members of the New World Order will order a coordinated coup d'etat in the United States and other powerful countries using black helicopters and implement a totalitarian regime to control the world.
'(Suspect Paul Ciancia) looked at me and said "TSA?" I just shook my head and he kept going,' Mr Saryan told Anderson Cooper.
'It was kind of hard to see his expression. I was more focused on the weapon.
'If I had a TSA uniform I wouldn't be here talking to you.'
Initial reports said that seven people were injured in the terminal with six transferred to hospital but an afternoon press conference reaffirmed that only three people were injured aside from the male TSA agent who was killed. Three victims were being treated at UCLA Medical Center, where one is listed in critical condition and two others were in fair condition.
Police say the shooter’s brother got a text message from Ciancia on Friday saying he was thinking about taking his own life.
According to ABC, Ciancia's brother received a 'worrying' text from him before the shooting, and after that message was relayed to his father, the father called the local police station to warn them of the possible threat to his own life. His father Paul to reached out to local Pennsville police in New Jersey who in turn contacted LA authorities.
CNN reports that his text to his brother was not the first one that he had sent in recent days that scared family members. In others, which were sent to his brother and father, Ciancia was said to have rambled about his negative outlook on life, his disgust with the government and his disappointment with his life in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles police officers went to Ciancia's apartment in California for a welfare check, and spoke to the 23-year-old's roommate before reporting back to headquarters that there was nothing to be worried about.
LAPD officials called Pennsville police Chief Allen Cummings after making the welfare check and said that everything okay- not knowing that as that phone call was being made, Ciancia had begun opening fire at LAX.
At a lunchtime news conference, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti described it as a 'static' situation with no other threats at the airport. Mayor Garcetti thanked the first responders from multiple law enforcement agencies for their courage. The mayor gave limited information due to the large scale of the ongoing investigation.
During the investigation, being led by the FBI, a large box of ammunition was found on airport grounds.
SWAT teams, bomb disposal and emergency responders rushed to the scene although many vehicles were slowed down by the clogged LA traffic. Dozens of ambulances and fire engines formed lines in front of the terminal building.
Terminal 3 is still on lockdown with the rest of LAX operating at around 50 per cent. Flights continued to take off through terminals 4-8 on the south side of the airport on Friday.
Brian Adamick, 43, who was boarding a Spirit Airlines flight to Chicago told the LA Times said people ran screaming through emergency exits on the tarmac away from an area where shots were being fired.
Mr Adamick said buses showed up to evacuate those in the airport - including a TSA agent who had been shot but was reassuring everyone that he was fine.
TV personality Tory Bellecci, who presents Mythbusters, tweeted: ‘Heard gun shots then everyone starting running for the door. Not sure if anyone was hurt. #LAX.’
FOLLOWING THE SHOOTING, TRAVEL CHAOS AT LAX
Flights to LAX are being grounded at airports they are leaving from. Some flights already en route have been redirected to other California airports.
At present, planes are landing and taking off from LAX terminals 4-8.
Transportation officials announced at noon to follow the official airport Twitter - @LAX_official - and for travelers to check with individual airlines for the most up-to-date information.
The roads around LAX have also been shut down. Some travelers arriving at the airport have reported having to walk miles to rent a car, catch a cab or meet family. Others have been abandoning their cars on the road and walking to the airport with luggage.
Terrified passengers were escorted to safety after the area was secured, where empty gun cartridges littered the ground. One passenger told NBC he saw a stain on the ground that he thought might be blood.
Terminal 3 has a mix of domestic and international flight departures. Los Angeles International is the U.S's third largest airport. AirTran, Alaska, Horizon, JetBlue, V Australia and Virgin America all operate from the terminal.
Last month, an airport employee was arrested in connection with dry ice explosions at LAX. One dry ice bomb exploded and two soda bottles containing the dangerous material were found at Terminal 3 in a restricted area.
More is beginning to emerge about the shooter, painting a picture of the young man who killed the first TSA agent in U.S. history.
Neighbor Whitney Hankins, 18, who went to Pennsville Memorial High School with Ciancia, said the family were very quiet and kept to themselves, especially after the 2009 death of mother Susan, who suffered from MS for years.
‘I didn’t know him personally as he was a few years older than me,’ she told MailOnline today. ‘But I would see him around school and the neighbourhood. He was kinda strange, very quiet and shy. Wouldn’t really make eye contact or talk much.
'Though I would never have expected him to do anything like this. Some of the girls on the street called him ''the creepy guy.'''
Whitney said in the tight-knit, middle-class neighborhood, the Ciancia’s house was set back into the woods and was ‘humungous’ compared to others on the street. A police presence was in front of the New Jersey family home this evening.
Miss Hankins added: ‘We just assumed they were really wealthy because they have a really big house compared to the others and his dad owns an auto shop up the street. It’s a really small town and everyone knows everyone else’s business. But everyone just kind of left them alone after the mom died.’