View Full Version : LAX Shooting - July 4, 2002

July 4, 2002, 02:36 PM

LOS ANGELES — Gunfire erupted Thursday at the ticket counter of Israel's El Al airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport, killing two people, police said.

The shooting occurred at midday after a gunman approached someone at the Tom Bradley International Terminal and opened fire, police said.

One of the two killed was the gunman, said Alex Baez, a police spokesman.

After the shooting, much of the airport was closed off and thousands of people were evacuated.

Details of the shooting were sketchy but at least five ambulances were at the airport, where planes continued to land and take off soon after the incident.

Thad Weimlein was standing at the Korean Airlines counter, in the same ticketing area as El Al. He said eight to 10 shots were fired.

"People were running and screaming, hitting the floor," he said.

He saw plainclothes policemen pulling out their guns and badges at the same time. He describes an initial flurry of fire, followed by silence then more gunfire.

"There were a lot of shots fired, a flurry. Then there was silence. Then there were some more shots," he said. "A lot of people were hoping it was fireworks, a prank."

Four people were reportedly transferred to local hospitals.

No other details about the two were immediately available

Source (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,56965,00.html)

-SS :mad:

Mad Man
July 4, 2002, 02:36 PM
There's been a shooting at the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,56965,00.html) a little over 1/2 hour ago.

I'm switching between Fox News Channel and CNN right now. Details are sketchy, and most of what's on TV is either repeating the same stuff over and over, or some speculation.

Apparently, 1 innocent person was killed, and 3 wounded. The gunman was then shot and killed by El Al security personnel.

It is not known whether this is a terrorist action, or just some lone gunman. The gunman, and type of weapon, have not yet been identified (or at least that information has not been released yet).

Considering that guns in airports are prohibited by federal law, I find it interesting that El Al employees are allowed to carry them (especially if they are not U.S. citizens).

I suppose some politician will want to make El Al security forces employees of the Federal government...

PS -- For those of you who are not aware of it, El Al is the national Israeli airline.

4V50 Gary
July 4, 2002, 02:37 PM
And so it begins... Watch your six and don't be in condition white.

July 4, 2002, 02:42 PM
Considering that guns in airports are prohibited by federal law, I find it interesting that El Al employees are allowed to carry them (especially if they are not U.S. citizens).

That is not correct.

You can carry a concealed firearm outside the secured area of any airport located in a state that offers a CHL if you are a licensee, so long as there are no legally binding signs stating otherwise. In my case, a legally binding sign would be a 30.06. Califoria is one of those states that offers a CHL/CCW, and from the sounds of it this occured outside the secure area.

I've carried a gun concealed into 3 different airports in this manner, and in all occassions it was 100% legal under both state and federal law, and every occasion was Post September 11th.

Just keep it outside the secure area and you're fine, though i am curious as to how they carry considering as you said, they are not US citizens.


July 4, 2002, 03:11 PM

A twin-engine plane has crashed in San Dimas at a water park 15 minutes from LAX.

July 4, 2002, 03:38 PM
Is this the best they can do? Screw 'em, bring it on. A lot of us rednecks in Alabama would love to give these bastards a little taste of southern hospitality.

July 4, 2002, 04:04 PM
Actually San Dimas is more like 15+ miles from LAX.

I doubt they are connected. But an El Al ticket counter and the fact it occured on July 4th meant it was supposed to be a statement. Not some random psycho.

Is this a more direct connection to the Israeli conflict in the U.S. while Sept. 11 was more indirect? Are we going to see more Israel-type low intensity terrorist (compared to Sept 11) attacks in the U.S.? This is the kind of thing that "inspires" ALL the low lifes of this world who want to bring the U.S. down.

Foreign AND Domestic

Political AND Non-Political

:mad: :mad: :mad:

July 4, 2002, 04:25 PM
"People were running and screaming, hitting the floor," he said. Are people ever going to learn to just hit the deck and shut up if they can't do anything constructive?

July 4, 2002, 05:07 PM
Hmmm, I don't know. California has plenty of domestic nuts from Patrick Purdy to present. No reason this has to be the Barbary pirates.:rolleyes:

San Dimas??? Isn't that the `burb with the water slides in "Bill and Ted"? Wonder if any gun writers were hurt?

Mad Man
July 4, 2002, 05:08 PM
I was just watching Jim Hahn, the mayor of Los Angeles, being interviewed on Fox News Channel.

He gave the usual spiel about "too many guns" in society, and "it's an act of terrorism whenever anyone fires a gun," blah blah blah.

July 4, 2002, 05:10 PM
Well, the cause of this is now official: According to the dingbat Mayor of L.A., it was because of "too many guns in our society." :rolleyes:

Walter Sobchak
July 4, 2002, 05:19 PM
It didn't take long for the POS mayor of LA to take a stab at RKBA. After the PD, FD and FBI reps praised the extra armed security of El Al in greatly limiting the injuries and death Jimmy says something along the lines of "the more guns on the streets and more guns in general make everyone less safe." :barf:

sarcasm {

Nothing like a good ol' gun bashing statement on the 4th!
God bless America!!:barf: :barf:


July 4, 2002, 06:29 PM
Californian's and especially L.A. residents if you can verify what the mayor said then now is the best time for you to write and call. We all want to get pissed and then do nothing about it! As far as I'm concerned when a politician praises all the government armed personel and then says that there are "too many guns" in our society meaning we can all bend over and take a California green weenie, he is nothing short of a traitor.
I'm composing a letter as we speak, and please no "contacting these kind won't do any good" responses. This is the whole reason these idiots are counting on enslaving us. They hope you won't stand up.

July 4, 2002, 06:59 PM
Oh, he said it all right. On national TV. Repeated it in fact. Let the letters fly!:)

[email protected]

July 4, 2002, 07:14 PM
Yup, he sure did. Saw him say it live.

Unfortunately, the majority of the population down here will agree with him and more gun control legislation will probably come down the pipe soon.

But, in the words of Jason Nesmith, "Never give up! Never surrender!"

July 4, 2002, 07:39 PM
and more gun control legislation will probably come down the pipe soon.

Or the 5 cent ammo tax will be pushed more than ever now to prevent these tragedies by making me pay hundreds more a year on components, and this guy, who popped off ten rounds, an extra $0.50.:mad:

On the bright side, 10 minutes after I first heard Hahn spew on Fox, a congressman from the LA area came on and said we can't go crying gun control. We have to look to the individuals, not the devices they used.

July 4, 2002, 07:50 PM
it's an act of terrorism whenever anyone fires a gun

OOPS! Then I just commited well over 100 acts less than 3 hours ago.

Or the 5 cent ammo tax will be pushed more than ever now to prevent these tragedies by making me pay hundreds more a year on components, and this guy, who popped off ten rounds, an extra $0.50.

Why not. Even Hitler had the Riechstag(sp?) burned to criminalize his political enemies.

July 4, 2002, 08:24 PM
Thanks for the link BenW. Letter sent. I'm glad that congressman came out on Fox but it would have been better if he said that on CNN or MSNBC. Of course they probably would have gone to a commercial break.:rolleyes:

Folks try to keep the letter polite. If you just start ranting and raving they probably won't even finish reading it. We're trying to convince them not confirm their narrow views about gun owners.

July 4, 2002, 10:14 PM
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A gunman opened fire Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport near the ticket counter of Israel's El Al Airlines, killing two people and wounding at least three others before airline security personnel killed him, officials said.
The gunman opened fire around 11:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. EDT) near the El Al ticket counter inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal, a separate building from the terminals used for domestic flights, officials said.
He shot dead a female El Al ticket agent in her 20s and a 46-year-old diamond importer -- both Israeli citizens -- investigators said. Another woman was shot and wounded; a man was pistol-whipped by the gunman; and the El Al security chief was stabbed in the back, officials said.
The diamond importer was identified by family members as Yakov Aminov, 46, from the Los Angeles area. He died in surgery as a result of a single gunshot wound.

Aminov's family said he was dropping off friends at the airport when the attack happened. They said his wife, who is pregnant, fainted at the hospital and was treated there.
Two other men were taken to the hospital for "cardiac issues," Baez added.
Zvi Vapni, the Israeli deputy consul general in Los Angeles, said El Al's chief security officer, Haim Sapir, encountered the gunman running toward the El Al counter with a gun and a knife and ran to stop him. The gunman stabbed Sapir in the back, and Sapir then fatally shot the gunman.
A law enforcement source said police have tentatively identified the shooter, described by Los Angeles police as a 52-year-old man. But the source said further checks were being made to ensure the gunman was not carrying false identification.
Ten passengers were at the counter at the time, checking in for a Los Angeles-Tel Aviv flight, said Amos Shapira, an El Al official in Tel Aviv. Eighty passengers were already on the plane, which U.S. officials were holding on the ground until they completed their investigation, he said.
The attack occurred after days of warnings by federal officials about possible terrorist attacks on U.S. targets during the Independence Day holiday. But both local and federal authorities said it was too early to say whether terrorists were to blame for Thursday's shooting.
"We have no information that indicates that this incident is connected to any terrorist event or anything else, but the matter is under investigation right now," Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn said.
Added Richard Garcia, the FBI agent in charge of the bureau's Los Angeles office, "Right now, we're looking at it as an isolated incident."
And a Bush administration source told CNN, "There's no other intelligence that would speak to the contrary ... We don't have anything to suggest this is anything other than a criminal act."
However, FBI Special Agent Matthew McLaughlin said, "At this point, it's too early to rule out anything."

Witness accounts of shooting

El Al is the Israeli national carrier. It is known for its strict security measures. In the Bradley terminal, its ticket counter is in one of two banks of counters for a number of international airlines.
The Tom Bradley International Terminal -- which is a separate building from the domestic terminals -- was shut down after the shooting, Baez said. Everyone inside was evacuated: Thousands of people were seen streaming out of the terminal, and traffic was stopped outside.
By 4:15 p.m., operations at Bradley terminal were returning to normal. All arrival gates were open again, an airport spokesman said, as were departure gates on the south side of the terminal.
Rescuers removed one of the victims from the Los Angeles terminal after Thursday's shooting. _
Thad Weimlein, who was checking into his flight on Korean Air, heard an initial barrage of between eight and 10 shots before it paused. Then the firing resumed, he said.
"People were running and screaming and hitting the floor," Weimlein said. "There were a number of plainclothes policemen who pulled out their guns and badges at the same time."
Robin Berglund said he saw three people down.
"One near the counter (was) a middle-aged man in casual clothing with clearly an entry wound in his flank from a bullet," said Berglund. "A few feet away, near the counter, there appeared to be a heavy-set, older lady down, covered by a blanket.
"More into the main aisle, there was a middle-aged man in a suit down and surrounded by security people and there appeared something of a struggle at first," Berglund said. "But when they left, I saw him down and motionless in an awkward body position." (More from the scene)
After the shooting was over, officers asked everyone in the area of the international ticket counters to file outside, Weimlein said.
Police cars, ambulances and fire engines lined the road. FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said air traffic for domestic flights at the airport continued to operate normally.

History of attacks

With tens of thousands expected to turn out for Independence Day celebrations late Thursday in Los Angeles, authorities sought to reassure the public that the city is safe.
"We find nothing else going on in the city or the nation that would indicate any of our venues are not safe at this moment," acting LAPD Chief Martin Pomeroy said. "And although we will have additional resources looking at some of the places where our citizens will gather this evening, we have not issued any kind of alert. We have not told anyone not to go. We are not suggesting anybody not attend any public events that may be scheduled."
California Gov. Gray Davis said he was "saddened and outraged" by the shootings, but urged Californians not to let the incident stop them from celebrating the Fourth of July.
Israeli officials in Los Angeles said it appeared to be a terrorist act, although they added there was no evidence to back up the theory.
"The way it was conducted is very much similar to previous attacks throughout the years over El Al counters," said Yuval Rotem, the Israeli consul general in Los Angeles. "Therefore, unfortunately, given this history, we presume that it may and would appear to be a terrorist attack."
El Al passengers were the target of a December 1985 attack in Rome, when terrorists threw grenades and opened fire with semi-automatic weapons at the airline's ticket counter. The attack killed 17 people and wounded more than 100.
The last shooting at a U.S. airport was in May when a Pensacola, Florida, man opened fire at a ticket counter at the main airport in New Orleans, Louisiana, killing one person and wounding another.
Authorities said Patrick Gott, a Muslim man who was charged in the shooting, told them he opened fire because people had made fun of his turban at a restaurant shortly before he went to the airport.

Paul K
July 4, 2002, 10:47 PM

poor people.:barf:
I really like the news, especilly the part where the guy said "and your liberties and quote un' quote rights are going to have an adjustment"

July 5, 2002, 01:03 AM
Subject opens fire at a ticket counter. Cut down before he empties one magazine.

This from the yahoos that could bring down whole PLANES half a year ago? The same ones that have been telling us to "fasten our seatbelts" on Independence Day?

I'm with ojibweindian.



July 5, 2002, 07:12 AM
And...the governor hisself tells us What America Stands For:

“Like all Californians, I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn of today’s shooting,” Gov. Gray Davis said in a statement. “That it happened on the day on which we honor what America stands for—liberty, security and diversity—makes this particularly more tragic.”

July 5, 2002, 09:04 AM
Zvi Vapni, the Israeli deputy consul general in Los Angeles, said El Al's chief security officer, Haim Sapir, encountered the gunman running toward the El Al counter with a gun and a knife and ran to stop him. The gunman stabbed Sapir in the back, and Sapir then fatally shot the gunman. If this is actually the way it happened then Hiam Sapir deserves a freakin’ medal. Ended the threat after being stabbed?! Impressive dedication to duty. I would have thought that Israeli security forces of all people wouldn’t have even messed with trying to take him alive though.

July 5, 2002, 10:09 AM
When I got my first carry permit I was told by instructor that airline terminals (not just secured areas) and interstate bus terminals were off-limits. Doesn't stop criminals, of course...

July 5, 2002, 10:46 AM
Has anyone been able to determine (or, guess) whether or not this was terrorist-related?

July 5, 2002, 11:13 AM
WyldOne: the Israeli authorities are assuming it was a terrorist act. The Americans are saying it's too early to tell.

July 5, 2002, 11:17 AM
Not yet, Wyld. But the shooter was Egyptian, and he attacked the Israeli ticket counter...

The only question I have is whether it was organized or just a lone scumbag.

I'm leaning lone scumbag myself.

I'm waaaay more interested in the fact that Saddam's stepson was caught here taking flying lessons in Florida. What the hell was he doing there? My brother thinks he was testing security...

Stay sharp, stay safe.

- Gabe

July 5, 2002, 11:20 AM
From what's been said, everyone used Glocks. G21 by the bad guy and G18 by El Al Security.

Ben Swenson
July 5, 2002, 11:25 AM
I'm waaaay more interested in the fact that Saddam's stepson was caught here taking flying lessons in Florida. What the hell was he doing there? My brother thinks he was testing security...
Testing security?
"Well, Achmed, apparently we can't get the stepson of Saddam Hussein in. Want to try something a little more subtle?"

Sounds like a good shoot on the part of the El Al security guy.

July 5, 2002, 01:32 PM

Pursuant to the cited MSNBC piece, the FBI indicates that the LAX shooting is likely not terrorism. I suggest they may be confusing "terrorism" and a sub-set: "organized terrorism". The facts are clear and simple:
(1) An Islamic Egyptian national
(2) Deliberately attacks El Al at LAX
(3) On the Fourth of July
(4) Carrying two autoloaders and a large knife
(5) Killing two and wounding others

Those actions are designed to terrify. Without doubt, that's terrorism.

July 5, 2002, 08:05 PM
If this is a terrorist act, does it mean the victim families, if not those injured, will be eligible for the $1.8 million average that the US government is giving families of the 9/11 WTC disaster, and moving to give families of the 1993 WTC bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing, and anthrax victims?

The precedent has been established.

July 5, 2002, 08:05 PM
single shooter.

I'm thinking the guy was on his own. Also, the circumstances indicate he shot a ticket agent and another guy in line. He drove his own car to the airport. One report said he had been "arguing" with someone at the counter, which lead to the thought it was not "terror" related. Doesn't appear to be a "shoot all you can" event. On the other hand, he did have two pistols on him.

So, I'm agreeing with RWK, it's a terrorist attack, but not a large scale attack and minimal organization.

As to the El Al security man getting close: The Tom Bradley International Terminal ticketing level can have as many as five thousand people at one time. The immediate area around El Al will hold possibly two thousand.
He was probably trying not to make a greater threat to the public.

The airplane accident seems to be just that, an accident. News reported the local airport as having recieved a call from the plane saying it couldn't climb and was going down. No connection with any purposeful event.

As to the mayor's remarks: What can you expect?
I am heartened to hear of the congressman's comments. Anyone know what congressman that is? I need to buy him a beer.

July 5, 2002, 08:46 PM
I am heartened to hear of the congressman's comments. Anyone know what congressman that is? I need to buy him a beer.
Moron that I am, I didn't catch his name. I did hear him say he lived in San Dimas, a couple of miles from where the light aircraft crashed.

July 5, 2002, 09:17 PM
As anyone caught how the pols and press are calling the LAX shooter's .45 a "massively powerful weapon" and the higher capacity 9mm is just a Glock 9mm? Is this a new direction in Anti-gun rhetoric and gun ban philosophy?

Gary H
July 5, 2002, 11:26 PM
DEBKAfile’s Counter-Terror Sources:
Hadayat Belonged to Egyptian Jihad,
al Qaeda’s Operational Arm
5 July: Hashem Mohamed Hadayat, 41, who gunned down Yakov Aminov, 46, and Vicky Hen, 25 – both from Los Angeles - on the 4th of July at the El Al terminal of Los Angeles, and wounded 7 others, is revealed by DEBKAfile’s intelligence and counter-terror sources as a Muslim extremist. During his ten years in the United States, he was a secret operative of the Egyptian Jihad who maintained undercover links to the same Jihad cell in Brooklyn, New York, as the “blind sheikh” Abdul Rahim Rahman and Ramzi Yousef. Both are doing time for perpetrating the first attack on the New York World Trade Center in 1993.
Hadayat is also believed to have abetted a previous, contrived airline disaster: On October 31, 1999, an Egyptair Boeing 767 Flight 990, which also took off from Los Angeles airport for Kennedy, New York. After Kennedy, the plane bound for Cairo plunged into the Atlantic off the Nantucket Island, Mass. coast, killing all 217 passengers and crew. In a special probe, the US National Transportation Safety Board found that the copilot Gameel el-Batouty was at the controls when the plane went into its dive. His voice was recorded shouting, “I put my faith in Allah!”
The report held back from referring more directly to the Egyptian copilot’s responsibility for the crash.
Our sources affirm that Hadayat, who lived in Irvine, California, 70 km south of Los Angeles, knew Batouty well. There are also indications that, in the years 1998 and 1999, Hadayat was in touch with a group of high Egyptian air force officers and helicopter pilots posted at the time at Edwards Base north of Los Angeles. They were there to learn how to install command and control centers in Egypt’s air defense systems, operate anti-air missile batteries and fly Apache gunships. Most of those officers were on the doomed Egyptian airliner after completing their courses.
Although the long-delayed US Transportation Board report never referred to the presence of this high-ranking Egyptian air force delegation on the flight, DEBKAfile ’s Washington sources reported at the time that most of the investigators were satisfied that Batouty could not have seized control of the Boeing 767 without the aid – certainly the compliance - of those officers.
Two years ago, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak exerted all his influence on President Clinton to keep the federal board’s findings out of its published report and, above all, the fact that a group of Egyptian air force officers was on the plane. He warned that citing the Egyptian copilot as deliberately causing the crash would have a negative effect on Egyptian-US relations.
The report therefore fell short of clear conclusions.
Hadayat’s murderous attack on El Al flight 106 passengers points back to the Egyptair 990 disaster of 1999, reviving the many questions left open by that earlier, half stifled inquiry, which carefully stepped round any suggestion of terrorism. It also raises the question of how many sleeper cells the Egyptian Jihad, al Qaeda’s primary operational arm, maintains in American cities.
Hadayat struck the El Al ticket line on his 42nd birthday. The initial FBI inquiry found through records of his fingerprints at the Department of Motor Vehicles, which issued him with a limousine license, that he was married with at least one child, and had lived in Irvine for the last two years, working on a green card.
Since the attack, the possibility that he arrived in America as a sleeper terrorist must be seriously addressed. US investigators realize he was not a lone operative and are seeking his accomplices in such matters as setting up the hit, providing the guns he carried and intelligence on the security situation at the Tom Brady terminal.
DEBKAfile’s Middle East intelligence sources report that early Friday, Egyptian intelligence officers picked up Hadayat’s relatives and associates in Cairo, to try and trace the identities of his fellows in the American Jihad cell.