Still-Hospitalized LAX Shooting Suspect Is Recovering

By Samantha Tata
|  Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013  |  Updated 12:47 PM PDT
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    Critically wounded in a shootout with police, an alleged gunman accused of opening fire inside a Los Angeles International Airport terminal has been upgraded from critical to fair condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

    Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, allegedly entered the nation’s third-busiest airport Nov. 1 armed with a Smith & Wesson M&P-15 semi-automatic rifle and up to 100 rounds of ammo, according to a federal complaint.

    Ciancia is accused of spraying LAX Terminal 3 with bullets, killing a 39-year-old Transportation Security Agency officer and father of two.

    More: Full Coverage | Timeline | Suspect Spoke of Suicide Before LAX Spree | Slain TSA Officer Remembered

    A handwritten note was found with the suspect and detailed his anger and malice toward the TSA, officials said. In the letter, Ciancia allegedly wrote of his conscious decision to kill multiple TSA employees, FBI officials said.

    The letter stated that Ciancia wanted to "instill fear in the traitorous minds" of TSA agents working with federal agency created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

    A native of New Jersey, Ciancia was taken into custody after a shootout with police. The suspect was hospitalized in critical condition, unable to speak with detectives, and has been under police supervision ever since.

    The FBI announced Nov. 3 that federal prosecutors will file first-degree murder charges against Ciancia. If convicted, he would face the death penalty.

    News that Ciancia’s condition had improved came as local and federal dignitaries gathered to remember airport security officer Geraldo Hernandez, gunned down while working at a TSA document checkpoint inside Terminal 3 the day of the shooting.

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