By Ian Bush and Cleve Bryan
PENNSVILLE, N.J. (CBS) — The FBI is still trying to figure out what made a South Jersey native so angry at the Transportation Security Administration that he walked into Los Angeles International Airport last week and started shooting — killing a TSA officer, and wounding three other people.
The family of the accused gunman is now speaking out through a lawyer.
Suspect Paul Ciancia, 23, remains in the hospital, gunned down by police as, according to witnesses, he shot up LAX Terminal 3 with a semi-automatic rifle.
When he’s well enough, attorney John Jordan will represent him on federal murder charges.
“We, like most Americans, are shocked and numbed by the tragic events of last Friday,” Jordan said today.
Speaking in Pennsville (Salem County), NJ, where the Ciancia family lives, Jordan says they are cooperating with the FBI in in its investigation into the rampage that left TSA officer Gerardo Hernandez dead.
“It is most important for us as a family to express our deep and sincere sympathy to the Hernandez family,” Jordan said. “By all accounts Officer Hernandez was an exemplary member of the law enforcement community, and a good family man.”
The feds say Ciancia intended to kill “multiple” TSA workers. Jordan took no questions following his prepared statement.
“We hope that the public will understand that this is a very difficult time for our family, too,” he said.
By all accounts, no one in Pennsville saw this coming. Ciancia worked at his dad’s auto repair shop and before that, attended Salesianum School in Delaware. Several classmates have told Eyewitness News he was shy.
“He was in my class, I had a few classes with him. Just a quiet kid,” a classmate said in a phone interview.
CBS 3’s Cleve Bryan spoke with Pennsville Police Chief Allen Cummings. He is a family friend of the Ciancia’s. He was involved the day of the shooting trying to track down Paul Ciancia after his father got a concerning text message. It indicated the 23-year-old might harm himself.
“The first phone call I got I could tell he was upset, he sounded emotionally upset. And then when I told him that they hadn’t found him yet, things might good because maybe he is okay, he seemed a little better. Then obviously the call that I got when he saw the suspect revealed on TV, that really, he got really upset. So when I went over there later that afternoon with the FBI he was, the whole family was just a mess,” he said.
Chief Cummings tells Eyewitness News as of right now the family does not have any plans to fly out to Los Angeles.