(Adds byline, details on wounding of Ciancia and his targeting
of TSA agents, paragraphs 1-2, 4, 6, 8-10)
By Alex Dobuzinskis
LOS ANGELES, Sept 1 The man accused of killing a
security screener and wounding three others in a 2013 shooting
at Los Angeles International Airport has agreed to plead guilty
in a deal with prosecutors that would spare him the death
penalty, according to court documents filed on Thursday.
Murder of a federal officer, the most serious offense among
the 11 criminal counts to which Paul Anthony Ciancia, 26, has
agreed to plead guilty, carries a mandatory minimum sentence of
life in prison without parole.
He has also agreed to plead guilty to attempted murder of a
federal officer, violence at an airport, discharge of a firearm
during a crime of violence causing death and discharge of a
firearm during a crime of violence, according to the plea
agreement filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Ciancia, who has been in custody since he was critically
wounded in a shootout with police during the Nov. 1, 2013,
attack, is expected to enter his guilty plea at an upcoming
hearing. The court documents did not give a date.
Federal prosecutors said last year they intended to seek the
death penalty for Ciancia if the case went to trial, citing what
they said was his substantial planning and premeditation ahead
of the crime and its impact on the victims.
However, federal prosecutors said in the agreement they
would "not seek the death penalty against defendant."
Authorities say Ciancia walked into Terminal 3 of the
nation's second-busiest airport carrying a semi-automatic rifle
and opened fire, killing Gerardo Hernandez, 53, an agent for the
U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as he stood
at the entrance to a security checkpoint.
Hernandez was the first TSA officer killed in the line of
duty since the agency was created following the Sept. 11, 2001,
suicide hijacking attacks on the United States.
Federal authorities have said that Ciancia, from New Jersey,
had set out to target TSA employees.
Investigators said in a criminal complaint they found a
handwritten letter signed by Ciancia in his bag that addressed
TSA officials, writing that he wanted to "instill fear in your
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Steve Gorman, Leslie
Adler and Paul Tait)