LOS ANGELES (RNN) - The man suspected of fatally shooting a TSA agent could face the death penalty if convicted for charges prosecutors brought against him Saturday.
Gerard I. Hernandez, 39, the first TSA agent to die in the line of duty, was one of six shot - including four other people and the shooter. Two other TSA workers were among those wounded.
Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, a native of New Jersey who was living in California, was charged with murder and commission of violence at an international airport for the shooting that occurred Friday in Terminal 3 of one of the busiest airports in the country.
U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. announced the charges Saturday evening.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Patrick Gannon said security at the airport would increase in the days after the shooting.
"This morning I met with the federal air marshals, and they're providing additional resources for us," Gannon said. "Obviously, today and for the foreseeable future we'll continue our very high profile at the curbs and anywhere in those ticketing areas and anywhere on our campuses."
Federal authorities outlined Ciancia's actions - pulling a semi-automatic rifle from a duffel bag with a hand-written note that expressed intentions to kill at least one TSA worker.
Birotte said prosecutors believe it was "a premeditated act of murder in the first-degree." He added that authorities believe someone dropped Ciancia off at the airport.
It was unclear why the suspected shooter targeted workers for TSA. The agency was created under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, and it does not arm its agents.
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