LOS ANGELES, Sept. 6 (UPI) — A gunman who started shooting inside Los Angeles International Airport during a rampage in 2013 pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of murder and multiple counts of attempted murder, as well as other charges.
Paul Anthony Ciancia made the pleas to U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez during a hearing Tuesday afternoon.
“Are you pleading guilty because you are guilty?” Gutierrez asked, to which Ciancia replied, “Yes.”
The guilty pleas are part of an agreement with prosecutors for Ciancia, 26, to avoid the death penalty.
Ciancia faces life in prison on several counts including murder of a federal officer, attempted murder of a federal officer, violence at an international airport, and other firearm charges. He will be sentenced Nov. 7.
One security agent with the Transportation Security Administration, Gerardo Hernandez, was killed in the Nov. 1, 2013, assault and three others were wounded. Two of the injured agents were present for Tuesday’s hearing.
After the shootings, authorities found a note in Ciancia’s bag — indicating that he didn’t expect to survive the attack — in which he called himself a “pissed off patriot.”
“If you made the conscious decision to put on a TSA costume and violate peoples’ rights this morning, I made the conscious decision to try to kill you this morning,” the note stated. “If I managed to take just one TSA (expletive) with me, my mission was accomplished. If I take two or more pigs’ lives before you kill me, I’ll be thrilled.”
Ciancia, then 23, spent time in the hospital after the attack after being shot by officers inside the airport.