US & Canada

LA airport attack: Paul Ciancia pleads not guilty

A TSA officer stands in front of a poster of slain TSA officer Gerardo Hernandez during a public memorial for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer Gerardo Hernandez at the Los Angeles Sports Arena 12 November 2013
A memorial service was held for shot officer Gerardo Hernandez

The man charged with murdering a federal security officer at Los Angeles International Airport in November has pleaded not guilty in California.

Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, denied first-degree murder and 10 other charges during a brief court appearance.

The trial was set for 11 February in Los Angeles federal court.

Gerardo Hernandez, 39, a father of two, was checking IDs when he was shot dead. Three other people were wounded in the attack.

Mr Ciancia had been taken to hospital after being shot by police four times.

El Salvador immigrant

Hernandez was the first Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent killed in the line of duty since the agency was formed in 2001.

Mr Ciancia was taken to hospital after being shot by police four times

After coming to the US from El Salvador as a teenager, Hernandez married his wife on Valentine's Day in 1998. He had worked at the airport since 2010.

The gunman allegedly entered Terminal 3 at the airport on 1 November with a rifle and shot Hernandez at close range.

Police say he had a handwritten letter stating he wanted to kill multiple TSA officers and "instil fear in your traitorous minds".

It is unclear why he targeted TSA officials.

Two other officers and a teacher waiting at the security checkpoint were wounded in the attack.

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