(PENNSVILLE, N.J.) — The family of Paul Ciancia, the 23-year-old who allegedly walked into Los Angeles International Airport Friday and opened fire on Transportation Security Administration officers, said on Monday they are “shocked and numbed” by what their son did.
Ciancia family attorney John Jordan said at a press conference Monday that the family is cooperating with authorities in order to fully understand what happened.
“Paul is our son and brother. We will continue to love him and care for him,” the attorney said on the family’s behalf. “We hope the public will understand this is difficult time for our family too. The Ciancia family and their friends and neighbors need time to heal, so we ask that you please respect our privacy.”
Ciancia is accused of walking into the airport’s Terminal 3 around 9 a.m. Friday and opening fire with a rifle, killing one TSA official and injuring others. He was shot by airport police and is being held at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center under heavy sedation.
Jordan spoke outside of the Pennsville, N.J., police station in the town where Ciancia grew up and lived with his family. Jordan said the Ciancias wanted to extend their sympathies to the family of Gerardo L. Hernandez, the TSA officer who was killed.
Two other TSA officers, James Speer, 54, and Tony Grigsby, 36, were wounded. A teacher named Brian Ludmer was also struck by a bullet and remains hospitalized.
“They wish to convey their hopes that those wounded recover,” Jordan added.
The suspect was described as a loner by those who went with him to Salesianum High School, a private, Catholic all-boys school in Delaware. After graduating from there, Ciancia attended a motorcycle maintenance school in Orlando, Fla., and then moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a repairman.
A note he carried with him to LAX Friday expressed his anti-government views.
Federal prosecutors charged Ciancia with murder of a federal officer and commission of violence at an international airport. Both charges are potentially punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.
Police believe he acted alone.
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