LAX Shooting Suspect Pleads Not Guilty, Could Face Death Penalty


LAX shooting suspect Paul Anthony Ciancia was arraigned in a federal courtroom today, facing 11 counts of murder, attempted murder and related charges. He is charged with entering the Los Angeles International Airport earlier this year and going on a shooting spree which left one Transportation Safety Administration agent dead and two others injured.

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Paul Anthony Ciancia pleads not guilty

The LAX shooting suspect entered a plea of not guilty to all of the charges at today’s hearing, according to KTLA-TV. The LAX shooting happened Nov. 1. Paul Anthony Ciancia is accused of entering the Los Angeles International Airport and opening fire in Terminal 3. Ciancia was reportedly shot in the face by law enforcement responding to the scene. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition but has thus far survived his injuries.

TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez died in the Nov. 1 shooting spree, and several others were injured. According to KTLA, Hernandez was the first TSA agent to be killed in the line of duty since the agency was created after the 9/11 attacks.

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Paul Ciancia said to plan attacks

The LAX shooting suspect first appeared at a jail hearing on Dec. 4, and a judge ordered him to be held, saying he was a flight risk and that he also could endanger the community. On Dec. 17, a federal grand jury indicted him on the 11 charges.

The 11 counts he faces include one charge of premeditated murder of a federal officer, two charges of attempted murder of a federal officer, four charges of violence at an airport, one charge of using a gun and causing death and three charges of using a gun in the commission of a violent crime. The reason he faces a charge of premeditated murder of a federal officer is because authorities found a note in his bag which they say suggests a premeditated act. The note reportedly expressed hatred of the TSA and wanting to “instill fear in your traitorous minds.”

Court dates scheduled in LAX shooting case

When he appeared in court today, reporters said he was wearing shackles and had a bandage on his neck. He also reportedly had a breathing apparatus and facial bruises. His court appearance today came after officials noticed on Wednesday that he appeared to be healthy enough to speak on his own in court.

Paul Anthony Ciancia’s trial has been set for Feb. 11, and there’s a status conference set ahead of that trial on Jan. 27. He is currently being held without bond and could face the death penalty if a jury finds him guilty.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at
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