Image: Gerardo Hernandez
Courtesy Hernandez Family via AP

TODAY   |  November 03, 2013

Wife of slain TSA agent: ‘He was a great man’

Ana Hernandez married her husband on Valentine’s Day 15 years ago, and said her husband, who was allegedly killed by a gunman at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday, was “a joyful person, always smiling.” NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>>> we want to begin with our top story, the latest on the shooting rampage at los angeles international airport . this morning there's new information about the suspected gunman and the tsa officer killed in cold blood . miguel almaguer has the latest with that information. good morning.

>> reporter: erica, good morning. the criminal complaint says the 23-year-old suspect should be charged with murdering a federal officer as well as causing violence at an international airport . he could face the death penalty. this happens as the nation's third busiest airport comes back into normal operations only with, though, a heavy police presence. today terminal 3 is open for business, but this is where the bloodshed began.

>> all units, a shooter at terminal 3 .

>> reporter: according to a federal criminal complaint, 23-year-old paul ciancia pulled this as sought rifle out of his bag and fired multiple rounds at tsa officer gerardo hernandez . the document says ciancia proceeded up the escalator, but when he saw twound officer move, he returned to his body, shooting hernandez again.

>> he was a joyful person, always smiling. took pride in his duties.

>> alma hernandez married her husband on valentine's day 15 years ago. a father of two, he would have turned 40 next week.

>> gerardo was a great man who always showed his love for our family. he was always there to help anyone in need.

>> reporter: with passengers scrambling for their lives, court documents say ciancia opened fire on two other tsa officers and high school teacher brian ledmure, all three injured but alive with police in pursuit. the suspect made it over 100 yards deep into the terminal, he passed restaurants and magazine shops. this is where it all ended, in the middle of a busy terminal. shot multiple times see ens yeah was taken into custody, his rifle, five magazine clips as well as a handwritten signed letter were all said to be recovered.

>> we found a statement where he made a conscious decision to kill multiple tsa employees. he addressed them at one point in the letter and stated he wanted to, quote, instill fear into their traitorist minds.

>> reporter: the fbi believes ciancia was dropped off here at lax, but have not yet identified the driver. the 23-year-old remains hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds. he's been unresponsive medically but police say they do hope to question him.