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LAX shooting suspect to appear in court Wednesday

Monday - 12/2/2013, 8:50pm  ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A man charged with killing a Transportation Security Administration officer during an attack at Los Angeles International Airport last month is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

Paul Ciancia, 23, will have his first hearing at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, about 45 miles east of Los Angeles. He's been housed at the facility in federal custody, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Ciancia will not be asked to enter a plea during the hearing, Mrozek said. Phone messages left for Ciancia's attorneys, who are both deputy federal public defenders, were not immediately returned.

Investigators said Ciancia had a vendetta against the federal government and targeted TSA officers when he pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and fatally shot Gerardo Hernandez.

Ciancia was shot and wounded by airport police in LAX's Terminal 3 on Nov. 1 as passengers scrambled to safety. He was initially listed in critical condition but was upgraded to fair at a Los Angeles hospital before being placed in federal custody.

An autopsy showed Hernandez, 39, was shot a dozen times with bullets grazing his heart and piercing his bladder and intestines.

Ciancia is charged with killing Hernandez and wounding three other people, including two other TSA officers. He could face the death penalty if convicted.


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