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Death, shots and chaos at LAX airport

In this photo provided to the AP, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, police officers stand near an unidentified weapon in Terminal 3 of the Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. Officials said a gunman who opened fire in the terminal was wounded in a shootout with police and taken into custody. (AP Photo) Photo: Image by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Death, shots and chaos at LAX airport

CREATED Nov 1, 2013 - UPDATED: Nov 2, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) Officials say the suspect in the Los Angeles International Airport shootings had a lot of ammunition as well as a note indicating a grudge against TSA agents and ``pigs.''

A source says the note talked about TSA searches being violations of his constitutional rights.

Officials say the gunman, identified as Paul Ciancia of Pennsville, N.J., had at least 150 rounds of ammunition when he opened fire, killing a TSA agent and wounding several people as others in the panicked terminal ran for cover. Two other TSA employees are among the wounded.

The dead man, 39-year-old Gerardo I. Hernandez, is the first TSA agent to die in the line of duty.

The gunman was shot four times by police and is in custody at a hospital.

Pennsville Police Chief Allen Cummings says he got a call from Ciancia's father saying another of his children had received a possibly suicidal text message from the suspect.

This is what AP reporters on the scene Friday are learning about the events unfolding:

 
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BAM , BAM, BAM
 
Xavier Savant was waiting in the security line at the terminal where the shooting occurred and he and other passengers dropped to the floor in panic. He described it as a "bam, bam, bam" burst of gunfire.
 
"We just hit the deck. Everybody in the line hit the floor and shots just continued," he said.
 
He said the shots subsided and people bolted through the metal detectors and ran into the terminal, eventually making their way out to the tarmac.
 
"My whole thing was to get away from him," said Savant, an advertising creative director in Hollywood who was heading to New York City with his family.
 
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HANDS UP
 
Ben Rosen, 30, was sitting at the Starbucks in Terminal 3 eating oatmeal when he heard gunfire erupt and people start running in all directions and crouching on the floor.
 
Police arrived with guns drawn and shouted "This is not a drill, hands up," he said. Everyone raised their hands and were led out of the terminal.
 
As they were led out they saw broken glass from a window that looked like it'd been shot out. Rosen left his bag behind.
 
"It was scary. I've never experienced anything like this before," he said. "I definitely felt underprepared. In retrospect, you have all these fire drills in school but you don't really have gunman drills."
 
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DISBELIEF IN TERMINAL
 
Grant Imahara of the Discovery show "Mythbusters" was in an airport lounge area when he heard gunfire in the terminal and saw police and terrified passengers react. "It was fairly tense and particularly after we heard the shots ring out, like `oh my God this is really happening,'" he said.
 
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HEROICS
 
LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon said actions of responding officers were heroic. "They did not hesitate, they went after this individual, they confronted this individual in our airport," Gannon says.
 
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START OF SHOOTING
 
Gannon says the gunman entered the terminal, pulled an assault rifle from a bag and began shooting at a screening checkpoint before entering the terminal. Officers took him into custody after a shootout. "As you can imagine, a large amount of chaos took place in this entire incident," he said.
 
SEVEN PEOPLE TREATED
 
Interim Los Angeles Fire Chief Jim Featherstone says paramedics treated seven people at the scene, and six were taken to hospitals.
 
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LONE GUNMAN
 
Gannon says there was a lone shooter who approached a TSA agent who was checking passenger documents and opened fire.
 
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TSA AGENT KILLED
 
Tim Kauffman, a spokesman for the American Federation of Government Employees in Washington, confirmed that a TSA officer was killed in the incident at Los Angeles International Airport. He said the union's information comes from their local officials in Los Angeles.
 
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AVOID AIRPORT
 
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says urges public to stay away from the airport for the time being.
 
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WAYLAID PASSENGERS
 
Evacuated passengers were loaded onto buses by the dozens, while others decided to walk off the airport grounds.
 
People trailing rolling suitcases were seen on the normally quiet streets and sidewalks outside LAX.
 
Brian Livesay, 44, said when he arrived on a business trip from Atlanta the airport seemed unusually quiet. The film and TV production designer didn't realize there was a problem until he saw heavily armed police on the airport beltway. He decided to walk the 3-or-so miles to the rental car facilities.
 
"If there was anything moving on four wheels besides a police car, I would be in a cab," he said. "I have a room full of CBS executives waiting for me."
 
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HOLDING PATTERN
 
Flights heading for Los Angeles, which had not yet taken off, were held at their gates by the Federal Aviation Administration. Others in the air - including three JetBlue flights from the East Coast - diverted to other airports.
 
Flight tracking site FlightAware.com said that as of 11 a.m. Pacific there were 12 flight cancelations and 132 flight delays in Los Angeles.
 
Travelers hoping to fly out are unable to reach Los Angeles airport because of road closures.

Copyright 2013. Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.