LAX shooting suspect sent suicidal text to family before attack

Paul Anthony Ciancia is the man believed to have killed an unarmed federal security agent at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Last Updated: Nov 02, 2013, 12:59 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Pennsville: Paul Anthony Ciancia, the man believed to have killed an unarmed federal security agent at the Los Angeles International Airport, sent many "angry, rambling" text messages to his brother and father in the days leading up to Friday`s incident.

According to a news agency, Paul Ciancia’s father called Pennsville Police Chief Allen Cummings early Friday afternoon, saying another of his children had received a text message from the 23-year-old “in reference to him taking his own life”.

In the texts to his family members, Paul expressed his unhappiness over living in Los Angeles, a news channel quoted a source as saying.

The elder Ciancia, the owner of an auto-body shop in southern New Jersey, asked for help in locating Paul, Cummings said. The chief called Los Angeles police, which sent a patrol car to Ciancia’s apartment. It wasn’t clear whether the police visited before or after the airport shooting.

“Basically, there were two roommates there,” Cummings said. “They said, ‘We saw him yesterday and he was fine.’”

He told Paul’s father that because of his son’s age, he couldn’t take a missing persons report.

The revelation comes as investigators are making all efforts to gather more information about the background and possible motive of the alleged gunman.

The gunfire in Terminal 3 touched off panic and chaos at one of the world`s busiest airports as hundreds of travellers ran frantically for safety or dove for cover behind racks of luggage and loud alarms blared.

Paul was later shot and captured, authorities said.

A motive wasn’t clear, but Ciancia was wearing fatigues and carrying a bag containing a handwritten note that said he “wanted to kill TSA and pigs,” according to a law enforcement official who was not authorised to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

"We are currently investigating his background and more about him," FBI Special Agent in Charge David Bowdich told reporters.

Paul moved to Los Angeles from New Jersey recently. He graduated in 2008 from Salesianum School, an all-boys Roman Catholic school in Wilmington across the Delaware River from Pennsville, the school said.

Authorities say Ciancia pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and shot his way past a security checkpoint at the airport, killing a security officer and wounding other people. Ciancia was injured in a shootout and taken into custody, police said.

The Pennsville Police Department has had no dealings with the younger Ciancia, Cummings said. He and neighbours described the Ciancias as a good, nice family.

(With Agency inputs)