Airport struggles to return to normal after shooting

Police stand guard at the Los Angeles International Airport last Friday after a gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire at the airport killing a Transportation Security Administration employee and wounding two other people.

PENNSVILLE, N.J. (AP):

The father of the young man suspected of carrying out a fatal shooting at Los Angeles International Airport last Friday called his local police chief around the time of the shooting to report that his son had sent a suicidal text message to a sibling and he needed to find him.

Paul Ciancia, the owner of an auto-body shop in southern New Jersey and father of the 23-year-old suspect of the same name, called Pennsville Police Chief Allen Cummings in the early afternoon to tell him one of his children had received a text message from the younger Ciancia “in reference to him taking his own life”, the chief told The Associated Press.

Across the country and around the same time, authorities say, his son was shooting his way past a security checkpoint at the airport with a semi-automatic rifle, killing a security officer and wounding other people.

Shooter injured

Ciancia was injured in a shoot-out and taken into custody, police said.

Yesterday, the airport struggled to reopen with widespread flight delays as authorities organised a process for travellers to retrieve their abandoned baggage from the terminal.

The FBI was still working the shooting scene inside Terminal 3, which remained largely shuttered, but the terminal’s ticket counters were open for purchases and questions. Flights were assigned to other terminals, airport officials said.

Meanwhile, airport official said that from the start of the incident around 9:30 a.m. last Friday through midnight, an estimated 1,550 scheduled flights with about 167,050 passengers were “impacted”.

That total consists of 826 scheduled departure flights, with an estimated 99,200 passengers and 724 arrival flights with 67,850 passengers.

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