The young man suspected in a deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport had sent a sibling a text message mentioning suicide, leading their father to seek authorities’ help in finding him, a New Jersey police chief said Friday.
Paul Ciancia’s father called Pennsville Police Chief Allen Cummings early Friday afternoon about the text message from the 23-year-old “in reference to him taking his own life,” the chief told The Associated Press.
The father asked for help in locating his son, Cummings said. The chief called Los Angeles police, which sent a patrol car to Ciancia’s apartment.
“Basically, there were two roommates there,” Cummings said. “They said, ‘We saw him yesterday and he was fine.’”
It wasn’t clear whether the police visited before or after the shooting.
The FBI and Los Angeles Airport Police identified the suspected gunman as Ciancia.
Authorities say Ciancia pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and shot his way past a security checkpoint at the airport, killing a security officer and wounding at least three others. Ciancia was injured in a shootout and taken into custody, police said.
A motive wasn’t clear, but Ciancia was wearing fatigues and carrying a bag containing a handwritten note that said he “wanted to kill TSA and pigs,” according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
TSA stands for the Transportation Security Administration, which handles security checkpoints at U.S. airports.
The Pennsville police department has had no dealings with Ciancia, Cummings said.
A police cruiser on Friday blocked the long driveway to the home, which isn’t visible from the road. Phone calls weren’t answered, and efforts to reach siblings were unsuccessful.
“He was never weird toward me. He never gave me any weird vibes,” neighbor Josh Pagan, 17, said, adding that in the 10 years he’s lived across the street from the Ciancia family “they’ve been nothing but nice to us.”
Police: Father had called about LA airport suspect