Paul Ciancia, the man accused of opening fire inside LAX and killing a TSA officer, appeared to be recovering from serious wounds as he went before a judge for the first time. Patrick Healy reports from Rancho Cucamonga for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013.
A man accused of killing a TSA officer last month in a shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport was ordered to remain in custody without bail and return to court later this month at a federal court hearing Wednesday morning in a Southern California jail.
Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, was not required to enter a plea during the proceeding at the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino County. Bail was denied, as requested by prosecutors, and the judge scheduled a preliminary hearing for Dec. 18 and arraignment for Dec. 26.
Ciancia was represented by a public defender in a room with a capacity of about 15 people. The room is usually used for probation parole hearings and criminal identification lineups.
Ciancia, who appeared with marks on his face and a wrapping around his neck, responded to all questions with "Yes" and "No" answers. Cameras were not allowed in the temporary court room.
Details regarding the wrap, possibly worn because of injuries suffered when he was shot by airport police, were not available.
If he is indicted before Dec. 18, the preliminary hearing date is likely to change. Both upcoming hearings are scheduled to be conducted in United States District Court in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles man faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with the Nov. 1 shooting death of TSA officer Gerardo Hernandez. Ciancia allegedly pulled a semiautomatic weapon from a bag at a TSA checkpoint in Terminal 3 at LAX, then shot Hernandez at what investigators described as point-blank range.
Witnesses told investigators that Ciancia began walking away, but returned to fire more rounds at Hernandez when he noticed the 39-year-old father of two was still moving. He then continued firing the weapon inside the terminal at the nation's third-busiest airport before he was shot during a confrontation with airport police, according to the federal complaint.
Ciancia was hospitalized after the shooting, but released into federal custody Nov. 19 and transferred to the detention center about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
The federal complaint filed against Ciancia alleges that he was targeting TSA officers. He could face the death penalty, if convicted.
A second security officer and a teacher from Southern California were also struck by gunfire in the rampage. They have been released from the hospital.