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November 3rd, 2013
10:11 AM ET

Rep.: 'Difficult' to stop airport attacks

Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul reveals new details about LAX shooting rampage

The gunman who shot TSA officer Herardo Hernandez dead Friday in a rampage that injured seven others left a suicide note, and mental illness was a chief reason behind the shooting, said the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

Rep Michael McCaul (R-TX) said law enforcement officials went to the home of suspect Paul Ciancia 45 minutes too late.

The 23 year old suspect, who is currently hospitalized and in police custody, sent emails to family members exhibiting signs of mental illness and suicidal tendencies that disturbed them so much they alerted authorities, said McCaul.

He said the gunman, who is charged with two felonies, including the murder of a federal officer, shot Hernandez multiple times at point blank range, went up an escalator, and then returned to shoot Hernandez again.

The Chairman, who has spoken with TSA director John Pistole, called for better coordination with local law enforcement, but said “it’s very difficult to stop these types of attacks.”

He said Terminal 3, which is now open again, is “like an open shopping mall.”

“Anybody can show up as we saw in the Navy Yard with the shotgun, in this case with the semi-automatic, and you know, it’s like a shopping mall outside the perimeter.”

Filed under: Mike McCaul • Newsmakers • State of the Union
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