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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
LAX Shooting Details; Eyewitness Accounts of LAX Shooting
Aired November 1, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
We begin tonight with breaking news as details of the LAX shooting keep coming in. We're learning more by the hour about the alleged killer, Paul Anthony Ciancia. His suspected murderous hatred of the TSA and the carnage authorities say that he caused.
This is picture of him according to federal law enforcement sources. Now, we just obtained a copy of that picture. You're seeing it for the first time here on "360".
There are reports at this hour he send a suicidal text message to his family prior to the rampage. That's his father's house right now in Pennsylvania -- excuse me, Pencil Ville, New Jersey at the Forth southwest of the state. There is that and now for the first time there is armature video showing the chaos.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
COOPER: The scene inside and right here from above outside the terminal as an ocean of air travelers fleeing the gunman. Now, you can imagine being down there in that stampede. A number of people got hurt in the rush but sticking certainly was not an option. You'll hear sort of their stories tonight. A lot of eyewitness we have on the program tonight along with everything else we're learning about today's murder at LAX.
COOPER (voice-over): Los Angeles International airport, 9:28 a.m. local time. The FBI says Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23-year-old, a white male, enters terminal three, pull as rifle from a bag and opens fire. At the security check point TSA officers were not armed or shot, one is killed.
CHIEF PATRICK GANNON, LOS ANGELES AIRPORT POLICE: He preceded up in to the screening area where TSA screeners are and continued shooting and went past the screeners back into the airport itself.
COOPER (voice-over): Authorities say after shooting his way through the security check point, the gunman makes it all the way down this hallway and says he stopped by authorities here near a Burger King in the food court area, hundreds run for their lives.
CHUCK OCHERET, WITNESS: It was complete panic. People were screaming. You know, children crying. SARAH RICHARDSON, WITNESS: Cure and utter may ham. I mean, people were tripping over each other on the floor. Bags everywhere, crying, screaming.
TORY BELLECI, WITNESS: Everybody started like flying down the hallway and they were just like jumping over chairs, jumping over people. Hiding in -- we were kind of trapped at the end of the terminal.
COOPER (voice-over): Trapped with nowhere else to escape, some passengers run on the airport tarmac. Others use anything they can to protect themselves.
LINO LINARES, WITNESS: Second shots went in and then I just grabbed luggage and I started to making walls and walls out of luggages and I can see that guy as he walking towards the escalator who is just pointing down.
COOPER (voice-over): After making it hundreds of feet into the terminal, the gunman is shot by police multiple times in the chest and lives.
GANNON: Los Angeles airport police respond immediately to the calls. They tracked the individual through the airport and engaged him in gunfire in terminal three and were able to successfully take him into custody.
COOPER (voice-over): His motive is still unclear. But what is known is the gunman intended to cause much more destruction. Sources say he had three magazines of ammunition for his assault rifle.
COOPER: Well, the story still developing as investigators are gathering physical evidence questioning witness and trying to get a picture of the alleged killer to show off her focus.
Again, he is a 23-year-old male, Paul Anthony Ciancia. Now, some of what we are learning, fitting by now familiar pattern, loan male with assault rifle possibly motivated by hatred at the federal government.
Deborah Feyerick joins us now with details.
Deborah, so there were indications that the shooter was targeting members of the TSA. What do we know?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: OK.
Well, three specific things. First of all, how this attack played out, also statements that he apparently made, eyewitness accounts. And also, information, material that he had on him.
Here is what we know. First of all, the first indication, the way this happened, he walked up to a TSA security check point where screeners were located and he opened fire killing one of the officers. He injured a second officer at the same time. He made his way down that terminal to the gate area where he was shot and killed. He was killed by officers from LAX police and LAPD.
The second thing that we believe suggests he was targeting TSA agents, law enforcement officials saying that as he was running down that terminal, he essentially was asking people hey, are you with TSA and when they said no, he simply continued running, continued making his way down.
Third thing, also, information, there were texts that apparently he was sending in the days leading up to the attack we were just learning in which he was sending them to his father and to his brother and there was some concern about his situation about how -- what was going through his mind at the time.
So, these three things suggest in fact, he was looking to shoot TSA agents. That's the premise law enforcement officials are investigating. That's what they tell us -- Anderson.
COOPER: In earlier reports said that he had been shot multiple times but that he survived. You're saying the shooter is dead?
FEYERICK: No, no, I didn't say that. He said he was the shooter was hit three times in the chest, center mass, it was hit multiple times but we don't know the condition. We've been trying to find out from hospitals throughout the course of the day because that's a significant wound as you can imagine.
COOPER: Right, obviously. Do we know much about his background?
FEYERICK: No, and that's been a little bit frustrating. Think about this. This happened in about 12:30 Eastern Standard Time. All we know 23-year-olds old, white mail, described as flight -- when he walked into the airport, he was -- he had a bag in which he had the weapon concealed. He was wearing gray camouflage. He had one magazine in the assault rifle, that is the one fired. Video said two additional magazines we're told by a source on him. Those were never used. There is a picture of both the rifle and what we're being told are bloody clothes. That was a picture snapped in the area where police shot him -- Anderson?
COOPER: All right, Deborah Feyerick, appreciate the update.
Kyung Lah is at LAX. She joins us now with more.
You had people in different terminals, some even stuck on planes for five, six hours. How are people getting information in and remaining calm. What was the scene like afterwards?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, after that initial chaos, Anderson, at least inside the terminal, people really just started collectively trying to stay calm, share water, make sure that they understood that this is just part of the process and the aftermath.
The different feeling was actually people who were stuck on planes on the tarmac. These are planes that landed after the shooting. And what I heard from a number of passengers is that they didn't get any information. They weren't getting any information from the pilot. They had to get the information from their phones and then collectively as passengers try to remain calm.
So, what we did definitely see is that people were really trying to help each other out, pass babies around, share diapers. But certainly, this is nothing they ever wanted to repeat again.
COOPER: And right now --
LAH: Very, very much passengers trying to stay calm.
COOPER: Right now what's the status of flights coming in and out of the airport?
LAH: Well, flights are starting to actually depart. I actually saw a plane take off in the air. As far as what it's like inside the airport behind me though, Anderson, it's a mess. If you're going to be coming to LAX, just intend that it is going to be a very, very bad night.
Also, anywhere you are traveling in the western region, planes are completely out of position. It will be a long night for a lot of the different cities.
COOPER: All right. Kyung, appreciate the update.
Our next guest, Leon Saryan, came face-to-face with the gunman who asked him a question. His answer maybe the reason he's alive to tell the story tonight. We spoke by phone.
COOPER: Leon, the shooter actually walked up to you. Take us through what happened.
LEON SARYAN, WAS FACE-TO-FACE WITH LAX GUNMAN (via phone): I had just gotten through the security gate with the x-ray machine. I had my shoes off and my belt off, and as I was walking through there, I heard shots. I was just getting ready to pick up my shoes and belt and go on my way, pick up my other stuff. At that point, we heard some shots, we heard more shots and everybody kind of hit the ground, and then people started to run.
COOPER: Did you know what the shots -- did you know instantly you were shots?
SARYAN: I didn't know what was happening and I didn't turn around to look. The shots was coming from behind me, and the TSA agent that was near me urged me to, you know, grab my stuff and go and he saw that I didn't have my shoes on, and, you know, so he grabbed the shoes and the two of us start running down the corridor towards the gate.
Meanwhile, more shots rang out, and this agent got hit. I think it was a grazing wound because he seemed to be OK. He had my shoes. I went and kind of towered in a corner and the shooter was just calmly walking down the corridor, but he saw me cowering there, he had his gun and looked at me and said TSA? And I just shook my head, and he kept going. COOPER: How did he seem to you? I mean, what did he look like? Was his expression?
SARYAN: He looked -- he didn't have -- you know, it was kind of hard to see the expression. I was more focused on his weapon. It was a rifle, like a -- liked like an assault rifle. I'm not sure exactly what kind it would have been. But, he was dressed normally. He had short hair, light complexion, you know, just maybe blue jeans or gray jacket or something like that --
COOPER: And he wasn't running. He was just walking?
SARYAN: Just walking. It was just walking slowly, you know, taking his time.
COOPER: Do you know how long after he spoke to you that he was shot?
SARYAN: I don't know. I can't say. I didn't --
COOPER: You didn't hear shots --
SARYAN: I didn't -- I heard shots but I didn't see, you know, who was shooting or where and, you know, at the moment it wasn't obvious that there was just one shooter.
COOPER: And when he asked you, when he said TSA, did you realize what he meant? Did you realize that --
COOPER: If you said you were TSA --
SARYAN: Absolutely. If I had a TSA uniform, I wouldn't be here talking to you, sir.
COOPER: You have no doubt about that?
SARYAN: I'm convinced.
COOPER: Well, it's just -- it's so hard to believe.
Leon, I'm so glad things are OK for you and appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Thank you.
SARYAN: Thank you very much for calling.
COOPER: Well, there is a lot more details tonight to learn. Next, two members of TV's myth buster show describe what they saw in terminal three.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARDSON: Sure another may ham. I mean, people are tripping over each other on the floor, bags everywhere, crying, screaming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's Sarah Richardson describing the chaos inside terminal three inside LAX earlier today. The scene now secured. The alleged gunman badly wounded. He is in custody. His exact condition we frankly don't know.
The TSA officer is dead, the first ever killed in the line of duty. Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara were right in the middle of it all. They star in the hit series "Myth busters." They join us by phone.
Tory, you basically live tweeted the entire shooting today. Where were you when you heard the gunshots?
BELLECI (via phone): Well, Grant and I weren't actually together. We were -- I'm not sure where Grant was. I was at gate 33, which was right, you know, a few gates from 36 and it didn't even register that it was gunshots until people were running down towards us, you know, screaming there's a shooter, there's a shooter. I never actually saw him but I heard the shots and, you know, just kind of kept my eye on the corridor and people were running down to make sure he wasn't coming down towards us.
GRANT IMAHARA, WITNESS (via phone): I was upstairs in the virgin lounge and a bunch of people started bashing at the window and I got up to look and I saw people streaming out of the jet bridge out onto the tarmac, as well as uniformed TSA agents and LAPD running out there.
BELLECI: Yes, what happened for us is we basically got bottlenecked in gate 33 because everybody was running away from gate 36 and when we got to the door, they were locked. So, you know, people were jumping over chairs, jumping over each other, everybody were trying to stay low and then finally, somebody came and unlocked one of the doors to the tarmac and we all just poured out and then got to cover underneath the airplane.
COOPER: Did you guys, at any point, see the shooter?
IMAHARA: No. I did not see the shooter. I was talking to an eyewitness who was right next to me. He said he saw a guy coming up with a white shirt and what looked like an assault rifle coming up the escalator and it was blowing my mind how you could get a weapon that far into the airport.
BELLECI: Yes, we were -- I was watching and I heard the gunshots from the other side of our door in the lounge. They locked the doors, but it was like I was wondering is this person going to come through the door, and if so, we would be trapped. We would be sitting ducks in there. Fortunately, nothing happened. As we exited and as they were taking us to evacuate, I saw the weapon on the ground inside of the terminal and it was a rifle, an assault rifle. COOPER: Do you know it definitely was an assault rifle, are you sure about that?
BELLECI: Yes, I saw it. It was like an ar-15, I think. So, it was -- yes --
COOPER: Do you have any sense how long this whole thing went on for?
IMAHARA: You know, it seemed like an eternity. It was probably only, you know, a minute, but the time that it started until the time that we were actually out on the tarmac, you just -- it seemed like an eternity, like time stopped. It was like one of those things where you hear about this stuff on the news and you're like God, I'm so glad, that's awful, I can't imagine what it would be like to be in that scenario. And it actually be there, it was surreal and you just went into like survival mode.
IMAHARA: I mean, for me, it was like the entire airport after this all went down and everyone was being evacuated, it got really, really quiet because we're still -- they decided to shelter us in place in this lounge and so all the announcements and stuff, everybody was really quiet. It's like the whole airport was holding its breath for an hour. It was crazy.
COOPER: Yes. Well, I'm so glad you guys are OK and I appreciate you tells us what you saw. Thank you.
BELLECI: Thanks a lot, Anderson.
COOPER: We have some more breaking news from Pennsville, New Jersey where the alleged shooter's father lives. A short time ago, the local police chief, Allen Cummings, talked to reporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF ALLEN CUMMINGS, PENNSVILLE, NEW JERSEY POLICE: Secure and, you know, go with the flow here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Chief, you know this family well. You grew up with the father, what kind of people are they?
CUMMINGS: Good people. Everybody here is good people. And I really think that, you know, this is a circumstance and the FBI is doing a great job and, obviously, you know, it is back here at Pennsville. And, you know, we are going to do the best we can to help them out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You never had a problem with this family before?
CUMMINGS: Nothing. No. Thank you very much, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The chief did not say anything, one way or another about reports the family got suicidal text messages from the alleged killer prior to the shooting.
Now, as we have mentioned, TSA officers are not armed even though they are on the frontline, they report security. The LAX shooting points just how vulnerable they are while on the job. Airports are long to be known soft targets.
Joining me is former deputy administrator of the TSA, Tom Blank, also HLN law enforcement analyst, Mike Brooks.
Tom, this is obviously a terrible tragedy. You say it actually could have been much worse and in many ways the security system worked. Explain what you mean by that.
TOM BLANK, FORMER DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, TSA: Well, one of the key reforms after 9/11 was to create airport security programs under federal law and put in place a federal security director employed by Tsa, often someone with a strong military or law enforcement background. And as a result of that, the coordination and the seem- less response that you saw today is the result of over 12 years now of working and assessing what the threats might be and assessing how to conduct the response.
I think the important thing is to think about resiliency and that is to say when this incident occurred, a terrible incident, the law enforcement officers knew exactly how to respond, where to respond in short order and through good coordination. That airport got back open for partial traffic operations in a matter of hours.
COOPER: Is it clear to you yet how the shooter was able to get from the initial contact he had with TSA officers all the way into to where the gates are? Does that part of it known yet?
BLANK: That does not seem clear at this point. Obviously, if he had a rifle, opened fire, and took a run through one of the check point lanes, that's the most likely way that he did that, and then made it into the secure area.
I think the important thing is the fact that no civilians were apparently harmed, at least we don't have any reports of that at this point. And, you know, that we saw the law enforcement respond very quickly and knew right where to go and they knew just exactly what it is they were dealing with.
COOPER: Mike, we've certainly seen shootings at airports before, acts of terror and other kinds of attacks over the decades. There is not much you can do because of the sheer number of people entering an airport until they go through that screening. There is not many ways you can really check, other than kind of roving security, right?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No, you're absolutely right, Anderson. And then, you know, a lot of people saying well, there should be some security as you walk through the door. Well, yes, there is certain vulnerability from the curb to there but if you set up line right at the front door, I mean, the passengers, you know, they would be backed up for miles outside of the airport. Now, you know, airports are configured differently. LAX is configured differently than hearts field here in Atlanta where you go through the security check point here in Atlanta and then you have to go down an escalator, get on a train and that takes you to the terminals. So, there is more of a buffer.
Here at LAX, in terminal three, there was not. And we heard Chief Gannon today, the airport police, talking about that he used to have an officer on the secure side seated in a podium but decided to redeploy that officer on the other side between the curve and security check points because of incidents like this. And in fact, they had an active shooter training three weeks ago, Anderson, with a scenario almost exactly as this one.
COOPER: Tom, you know, I guess some people will probably call for or ask whether TSA agents themselves should be armed. What do you make of that? Because in my experience, a lot of airport's TSA agents obviously are not armed but there is usually an armed security officer on the other side of the metal detectors kind of overseeing everything, isn't that correct?
BLANK: Well, it's not really practical to think about arming TSA officers. In order to do that, you have to make them a sworn law enforcement officers. There is all kinds of costs and training and other implications to doing that. I think the question TSA deals with, and law enforcement agencies and stake holders involved is, what is the response time? How quickly can we get there? How do we assess the threat today versus the threat last week or next week? And that might make a difference in whether you have a law enforcement officer at the check point, have a law enforcement officer roving, have a law enforcement officer at the departure gang way and those kinds of things.
COOPER: Because Mike, I mean, in that initial entrance to the airport, whether it's in the United States or overseas, you do sometimes see even heavily armed security personnel wondering around, but there is not -- there's not that many layers you can put before you get to that screening.
BROOKS: No, but there is a lot you don't also see involved in aviation security. I was with delta airlines after law enforcement. I was general manager of Delta Airlines back. I was with the align security when 9/11 happened. And since 9/11, there are more layers of security from that front door, even when you just enter the grounds of the airport, on the roads leading up to the airports, Anderson, that people don't see. There is surveillance cameras, there are people -- there are law enforcement officers and TSA folks in plain clothes also who are armed. So, there is a lot of layers you don't see. But I'm sure they will look at this because it still is troubling that this gunman was able to get to the gate. And if, you know, there had been a plane at a particular gate, well, is there a possibility he could have gotten on board that plane but the two officers that confronted him are the true heroes today because they did save a lot of people's lives.
COOPER: Well, Mike Brooks, appreciate it. Tom Blank, as well. Up next, witnesses in terminal three say that in all the chaos, it was hard to know what exactly was going on. Just ahead, I'll talk to one man who was even mistaken for the shooter.
We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM DALY, ACTOR: I only found that out after we were evacuated and we were standing probably 20 feet from a high-powered rifle, an ar-15 on the ground with three clips nearby and a pair of black shoes and some people's shopping bags and other people's carryon luggage strung about but a police officer was taking pictures of the rifle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That the actor Tim Daly that heard shots been fired while he was sitting inside the virgin Atlantic lounge and saw the gun as passengers were evacuated from the area. Looking at a live shot of the father's home of the shooter in Southwestern, New Jersey. We're waiting for a family member to make a statement. And we will bring that to you, obviously, when it happens.
As we mentioned earlier, the TSA officer who was killed today is the first employee in that agency to be killed in the line of duty. TSA bow to a new federal agency as you know creating the aftermath at 9/11 attacks.
Our national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, is in Washington tonight and he joins us.
Now, Jim, authorities have ruled out any connection to terrorism, correct?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, they don't see any indications of international terrorism. They are always reluctant to rule it out and say the investigation is continuing. They don't see any indications of international terrorism. They are always reluctant to rule it out because they say the investigations continuing, but they don't see any indications of international terrorism --
COOPER: International terrorism.
SCIUTTO: But I supposed in light of what he -- the fact that he was targeting TSA agents like Evan Peres reporting that he was carrying materials on his person with some anti-government rhetoric, that kind of thing. I supposed you could make an argument to call it domestic terrorism, but not terrorism as we think of it in general.
COOPER: Certainly in terms, as you said, that's the distinction we should make international terrorism. Was the TSA prepared to handle a situation like this? I mean, do we know much about that specific check point and how he was able to get through? SCIUTTO: Speaking to the folks at the TSA today. They focus on keeping weapons and other dangerous things off the airplane. They tend to leave the shooting to trained shooters and in fact, I spoke to the head of the TSA union today and he said that's one thing they haven't asked for. They haven't asked for their agents, their officers, rather to be armed.
That said, after I reported that I got tweets back from some TSA agents out there who disagree with that position. They said they feel like one of them wrote to me unarmed sitting ducks, but that's at least the union position, and to be clear, it's not like there aren't loads of armed agents running around an airport like that.
There are 2,100 TSA officers in lax and more than a thousand L.A. airport police, many of them armed and the DHS has armed agents in airports. You have air marshals who are both on board planes, but also in the airport. So you have a lot of armed agents around. It's been the TSA's position to leave the shooting to them and they will do inspecting.
COOPER: Right. We are just talking to Tom Blank from the TSA. He was saying to get them be federally sworn officers would involve another level of bureaucracy and training and cost and expense. Mike Brooks were saying the LAX actually held an active shooter drill recently.
SCIUTTO: They did. Just three weeks ago, they took over an entire unused terminal in Ontario Airport about 40 miles from LAX, 300 officers taking part in an active shooter scenario like this and the L.A. police chief said in his comments earlier today that a lot of the officers who responded today said the training like that helped them to respond well to this incident, helps save lives, and it just shows you that they are conscious of this kind of threat there.
LAX has been a target of attacks before. Al Qaeda targeted it in 2000. In 2002, there was a shooting at El-Al desk there. You know, all American airports you can argue are targets, LAX being a famous one, more of a target for a spectacular attack like this. So they prepare for it but, you know, you can only do so much. There are always weak points and you can't stop ever attack.
COOPER: Yes. And there is obviously still a lot we're trying to learn exactly what happened today and how the shooter got so deep. Jim Sciutto, appreciate it more. Let's look at the bigger picture right now. For that, let's go to Tom Ridge. During the Bush administration, he was the nation's first secretary of Homeland Security.
Mr. Secretary, appreciate you joining us. As we said, this was the first time a TSA employee has been killed in the line of duty since the organization was established during the time of the Bush administration. What do you make of what happened today at LAX? What are the main sorts of points you're looking at or interested in finding more details on?
TOM RIDGE, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: First of all, I think you're right. There is still more details to be determined. Let's be very clear and all the other guests have spoken to this. The possibility of an individual coming into a terminal with a hidden firearm is real and it's something they are going to have to deal with on a day to day basis.
There are 1.8 million passengers a day that go through over 450 airports and so this is a real challenge that, as I think Tom pointed out, as horrible as the tragedy was, the resiliency and the response mechanism is built in because of preparation and training is something to be lauded and not to take away from pain and suffering of the family of the deceased and several victims.
At the end of the day, there are certain kinds of risks that I think for which there is really no sensible, thoughtful, reasonable economically appropriate way to abandon or to eradicate and this happens to be one of them at airports.
COOPER: I mean, it's already illegal to bring a weapon into an airport so not like you can pass another law saying we'll make it even more illegal to do that. I mean, for those who think TSA agents should be armed, what do you think?
RIDGE: Well, I think it's a big mistake. You have literally hundreds and hundreds of armed police officers roaming every major airport in America and I don't think arming another 40 or 50 or 60,000 people, I'm not sure how many employees there are would have prevented this incident from happening.
When the individual removed the firearm, began firing, the response mechanism kicked in. I personally think that's a very bad idea. This is an unspeakable tragedy, Anderson, and I know we'll be questioning the motives of this particular individual. But at the end of the day, Anderson, if you and I did this show a week from now, there would probably be 300 or 400 other people dying because of firearms homicides.
And we're not quite sure what their motives are going to be but this once again, speaks to an eruption of interest because of this horrible incident in a public place and a federal employee, but between now and Monday there will be 50 and 60 people that will never be reported about, no public discussion.
And it will be a gang war over turf, drugs, someone with a severe mental challenge that got access to a firearm and hopefully one of these days you and other folks will make this conversation a permanent part of the civil dialogue. We just have to get about doing it.
It's not a news cycle or two and we need a deeper dive in this and I'm glad you raised the issue but again, it's a cultural violence. There are many aspects to it and this is just one more horrible incident, not to take away from the tragedy, it's unspeakable and there is a lot of pain and suffering, but we really have to think deeper and do more than simply talking about the violence of firearms.
COOPER: And the indication that this person was specifically asking people whether they were with the TSA -- RIDGE: Interesting. I mean, I haven't heard -- I mean, that's -- does that surprise you?
RIDGE: It's bizarre. Listen, you and I both know, go back to Timothy McVeigh, Anderson, we know some people turn to violence, God forbid this awful violence and Oklahoma city because of grudges or hatred or whatever the evil, dark side, emotion is in their heart and head and that's the excuse and motive but then again, I think in 2010 there were like 12,000 firearm homicides and motives all over the place.
I think we have to be very careful not to just categorize and suggest that this is the only one we have to be worried about. There are broader issues that have to be discussed. Clearly, if he had a grievance against the government, we'll find out more about it. Notwithstanding that, they may have been his motive, but I'm not sure you can do anything to prevent this type of particular incident from happening.
COOPER: Tom Ridge, appreciate your time. Thank you.
RIDGE: Always good talking with Anderson, thank you.
COOPER: We have more information into the newsroom. Deborah Feyerick is working with her sources on that. We'll be right back next.
COOPER: I want to check back in with Deborah Feyerick who got some new information, joins us once again. So what are you learning about the contact this shooter had with his family?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we are learning from intelligence sources in brief on the investigation is that Paul Ciancia did have communication with his brother and his father. He was sending them a series of texts over the last couple days and these texts, the content was concerning to the family.
We're being told by the source that the texter described as angry, rambling and Ciancia complained about the government. He complained about living in Los Angeles. It's not clear how long he had been there for.
We do know that search warrants have been executed both on a home where it's believed he lived in Los Angeles and also at a residence in New Jersey. So right now, they are looking at the content of those texts. They were rambling, angry, unhappy, discouraged and that's what we're being told -- Anderson.
COOPER: And also what about the status of the shooter right now? Do we know?
FEYERICK: Well, we do know that he was shot multiple times, center mass, that's right in the middle of the chest. He was removed from the airport terminal on a gurney and he was handcuffed to that gurney taken to a local hospital. We've been trying to get a status update all day. We were told that he did go to the hospital where others were taken as well. That hospital earlier said that somebody was in critical condition. But we have not had any updates since then -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Deborah Feyerick, appreciate the update. Thanks.
The chaos inside Terminal Three produced a lot of confusion obviously. We got a photo of one man who was in handcuffs on the tarmac outside the terminal after he run outside there to escape the shooter. His name is Nick Pugh. He was running from the gunman who wasn't too far from him when he opened fire. Nick Pugh joins us tonight.
So Nick, where were you when the shooting began?
NICK PUGH, ACCIDENTALLY APPREHENDED BY POLICE AT LAX: Basically, I had been -- I had just gone through the first screening area where you show your license and they check your boarding pass, and then I was -- just gone through there and going up the escalator and I went around the top area of the area and the shooting started then. I immediately dropped to the floor, and I could see flashes.
COOPER: About how far away from the shooting were you?
PUGH: I would say 15 feet, 20 feet.
COOPER: Wow, that close so was it very loud?
PUGH: Yes, it was really loud. You hear a sound like that in an airport environment and it's definitely not right.
COOPER: Did you know right away it was shots?
PUGH: Yes, I think within a couple seconds or almost a split second everybody, you know, I was standing at the very back of the line and everybody dropped to the floor, and I mean, I think everybody knew right away it was shots. It's much louder and more abrupt than anything you hear there, so yes.
COOPER: What did you do then?
PUGH: I was at the very back of the line in the second screening area where all the other passengers were ahead of me, probably 150 people or so and everybody dropped to the floor and started crawling, crawling forward and I looked over and there was an emergency exit out to the exterior of the airport.
And I just thought I'm not going to be between the shooter and all these people and I just went right out the emergency exit and I just started running. I dropped my luggage or whatever and I just started running across the tarmac. I didn't -- I had no idea if there were more shooters or bombs so I wanted to get as far away from it as I could quickly.
COOPER: I understand that's when police chased you and handcuffed you because you actually on the tarmac, what happened then?
PUGH: That's correct. I ran out onto the tarmac and away from where the shooting was happening and as I was running, the police came toward me, cars racing toward me and jumped out of the cars and said hands up, hands up, get down on the ground, face down. From their perspective I was the first guy running away from this running across the tarmac which is not normal.
So I laid down on the ground and basically they came over to me and said stay down, stay down and didn't ask me questions and put me in handcuffs and basically said stay there. Obviously, I can't get up and do anything so I'm laying there on the airport -- I mean, on the tarmac and, you know, they raced back towards the terminal.
And as I was laying there, I could see more people pouring out of a different exit, sort of more toward the end of the terminal and I guess from what I heard the gunman came up the escalator where I had been standing and pushed into the terminal and pushed everybody toward the end and they exited out and some people went into planes. I don't really know what happened at that point.
COOPER: And then how long was it before police came back and talked to you and released you?
PUGH: Maybe like ten minutes. So they basically came back and frisked me again and looked at my backpack and I don't have any problems or whatever. I dropped my license and my id so I didn't have any id but basically I just -- they believed me I guess at that point and took the handcuffs off and just told me to stay put or whatever.
COOPER: Well, I'm so glad you're safe nick and appreciate the time you took to talk to me. Thank you.
PUGH: Thank you.
COOPER: That's Nick Pugh. Now today's incident shut down terminals in one of the busiest airports in the country. It was already not the greatest travel day with torrential rain, high winds in part of the Midwest and south, flooding all over Texas. The latest when 360 continues.
COOPER: Well, today's shooting at LAX obviously caused major flight delays in and out of Los Angeles. Nearly 750 flights were affected, which always creates a ripple effect. It wasn't an ideal day to travel to begin with. Hundreds of flights were cancelled throughout the country because of rain and heavy winds in the northeast and bigger problems in the Midwest and parts of the south. Pamela Brown reports.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Torrential rains, hail, and high winds slammed parts of the south and Midwest yesterday, this massive storm causing severe flooding all over Texas. More than 1,000 homes evacuated in the central part of the state. Residents leaving by boat and life raft. Some families rescued by helicopter from rooftops as the water quickly rose. More than a foot of rain fell in the area according to the National Weather Service causing rivers ask creeks to overflow.
RON MOELLENBERG, PFLUGERVILLE, TEXAS FIRE CHIEF: This creek and others like it, they rise very quickly and go down very quickly. So, if we can get out from under the torrential rainfall, the waters will recede quickly.
BROWN: Dangerous flash flooding swept cars off the road and left cars partially submerged. Not everyone made it out safely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Water came too fast. There wouldn't have been time to get the people out of the houses.
BROWN: Two Texans were killed in the floods. The storm kept moving, hitting Kansas where this school bus overturn in a creek, possibly swept off the road from heavy rains and it didn't stop there. High winds and rain hitting the east coast, the effects of this storm felt all the way up to Maine.
COOPER: Wide spread across the country. Pamela joins us now with the 360 bulletin -- Pamela.
BROWN: Well, Anderson, police in Toronto, Canada say they have video of Mayor Rob Ford apparently smoking a crack pipe. Allegations of drug use a dog's the mayor. A dog rather the mayor for months, but he has consistently denied them. Ford says he will not resign despite the claim by police.
Jerry Sandusky is asking Pennsylvania's highest court to hear an appeal of the case. Last year, the former Penn State assistant football coach was found guilty as you recall of sexually abusing dozens of boys. A lower court denied his appeal last month.
Kraft is making changes to Mac and Cheese marketed to children. In 2014, it will remove artificial food dyes from boxes containing pasta shaped like Spongebob Squarepant, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and other characters. It's also lowering salt and fat levels, but apparently, the taste will not be compromised -- Anderson.
COOPER: I wonder what color it will be?
BROWN: Maybe a little less yellow I guess.
COOPER: Pamela, thanks. Up next, the New York City marathon is this Sunday. Last year's race obviously was cancelled because of Superstorm Sandy. This year security will be tight in the wake of the Boston bombings. What the return of the marathon means for New York next.
COOPER: Security will be tight this weekend in New York City where runners are getting ready for Sunday's marathon. After the Boston marathon, backpacks are now banned and family members waiting at the end will be screened among other increased security measures. As New Yorker's remember, last year's race was cancelled because of Superstorm Sandy. So this year's marathon takes on special meaning. Tom Foreman reports in tonight's "American Journey."
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the streets of Baltimore, Karina Christianson spent months preparing for the New York City marathon. Adding up the miles and pushing down the memories on what happened to her hometown.
KARINA CHRISTIANSON, RUNNER: I had cousins in Long Island with 4 feet of water.
FOREMAN: Last year when Sandy washed over the city, it swept away the great race. City officials tried to run it as scheduled, but the massive property loss and human suffering proved too much.
MARY WITTENBERG, CEO, NEW YORK ROAD RUNNERS: The best way to help New York City at this time is to say we will not conduct the 2012 ING New York City Marathon.
FOREMAN: Now its return is heralded as symbolic of the city, back are 48,000 runners pouring more than $300 million into the economy. Back are the elite athletes like this Olympian Meb Keflezighi. In 2009 he was the first American to win New York in more than two decades and brought some perspective.
MEB KEFLEZIGHI, RUNNER: Winning is not about first place or getting the best out of yourself.
FOREMAN: Back too are the millions raised for charity. Even with the cancelation last year, runners raised more than $30 million for groups like "Back on My Feet," which helps the homeless. Karina is running for them.
CHRISTIANSON: It's shows this (inaudible) incredible what people can overcome.
FOREMAN: In short, that's what the marathon's return is all about, a whole city overcoming the worst and getting back to its best, one step at a time. Tom Foreman, CNN.
COOPER: Certainly is incredible what people can overcome. That's it for us. Hope you join us one hour from now for "AC360 LATER," live with the latest on the shootings at LAX. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.