LOS ANGELES – A shooter who gunned down airport screening officers three years ago at Los Angeles International Airport in a terrifying attack that sent frantic passengers running for their lives is scheduled to plead guilty Tuesday to murder and other counts.
Paul Ciancia agreed last week to plead guilty to all 11 charges in the rampage that killed one officer and wounded two others and a teacher who was headed for a flight.
Ciancia, 26, faces a mandatory life term in prison, but federal prosecutors have agreed not to seek a death sentence.
The evidence against Ciancia was overwhelming.
Security cameras tracked his movements through Terminal 3 during the 10 minutes of terror on Nov. 1, 2013.
The unemployed motorcycle mechanic opened fire on officer Gerardo Hernandez at a document screening podium. As he headed up an escalator to the main screening area, he noticed Hernandez move and returned to fire several more shots at point-blank range, killing the married father of two.
At the secondary screening, he reloaded and took aim at others, shooting officers Tony Grigsby in the ankle and James Speer in the shoulder as they tried to run away. He hit teacher Brian Ludmer in the calf.
When police shot and wounded Ciancia, he was armed with the Smith & Wesson semi-automatic rifle he had bought seven months earlier.
Officers found a handwritten note in a duffel bag that included additional ammo that he dropped along his path.
In the note, the New Jersey native spelled out plans to target TSA officers, saying he wanted to kill at least one, but would be thrilled to take out more.
"If you want to play that game where you pretend that every American is a terrorist, you're going to learn what a self-fulfilling prophecy is," he wrote, according to court documents.
He signed the note and added the title, "Pissed-off Patriot" beneath his name.
In the plea agreement filed Thursday, Ciancia simply signed his name.