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LAX Gunman Charged With Murder; Family, Friends React

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By Cleve Bryan, Mike Dougherty

PENNSVILLE, N.J. (CBS) – Federal authorities have filed murder charges against the gunman suspected of killing one and wounding five others at Los Angeles International Airport Friday.

Ciancia, a 23-year-old Pennsville, New Jersey native, is accused of filling a bag with nearly 200 rounds of ammunition and then opening fire in a crowded airport terminal, killing 39-year-old TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez.

LAX Shooting Complete Coverage

Prosecutors have formally filed charges against Ciancia and he could face the death penalty if convicted.

“It’s surprising because it means somebody my age, you know 23-years-old, is having thoughts like that,” David Robertson said.

Robertson graduated high school with Ciancia and he tells CBS3 Eyewitness News he can’t believe what happened:

“I remember he was in a few of my classes. I can’t remember him ever actually saying much.”

Former classmate Joseph Conti was in band with Ciancia. He doesn’t remember anyone bullying him, but instead, trying to get him more involved in school:

“He was very small in stature but strong. We tried to get him involved in different things but he was never interested in it.”

Neighbors and classmates say Ciancia worked with his father at an automotive repair shop. Pennsville Police chief Allen Cummings is a family friend and says Ciancia hasn’t been in close contact with home over the past few years:

“He left for a year-and-a-half, went out there. His father didn’t know what he went out there to get a job to do. He worked on motorcycles. Nobody knows if he got a job.”

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the shooting. Ciancia’s bag also allegedly contained a note indicating a grudge against the TSA, calling the agents “pigs.”

Ciancia is in police custody at a hospital where’s he’s recovering from four gunshot wounds.

Cummings says the family hasn’t been able to talk with Paul since the news of the shootings:

“They’re confused. They don’t know how it what happened, what caused it.”

The Pennsville Police Chief tells CBS3 the family is inside their home and they have no intention of coming outside to speak with the media.