McCaul: LAX gunman hit 'soft target'

The Transportation Security Administration and Congress will review airport security procedures in the wake of the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport where a TSA agent was killed, House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said Sunday.

McCaul said he had spoken with TSA Administrator John Pistole about potential changes to airport security, noting that the shooting occurred in a “soft target” outside the security checkpoints.

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“We talked about a review of policies at airports. Every airport is a little bit different, but the coordination with local police is always key,” McCaul said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“Remember, TSA officers are not armed. It’s the local police that provide perimeter security, and a little more of a soft target outside the checkpoints,” he said. “I want to work with the director of TSA to look at how we coordinate with the locals at the airports, the security police officers, to see if there’s something to do better or different.”

On Friday, a gunman brought a semi-automatic rifle to the Los Angeles airport and shot and killed a TSA agent checking documents at a checkpoint. The suspect, Paul Anthony Ciancia, was also shot and taken into custody.

McCaul said that it’s “very difficult” to stop these kinds of attacks, comparing it to the Washington Navy Yard shooting where a gunman brought a gun into the facility and killed 12 people.

He said that Pistole was considering using more detection and deterrence teams to try to stem future attacks.

“There teams out there, they are called 'viper teams' that TSA runs, are essentially detection and deterrence teams,” McCaul said.

“And I know in talking with Director Pistole, he wants to maybe further utilize these teams at airports, to make sure the American people are safe, the traveling public are safe. I think that with better coordination of local law enforcement that should help tremendously.”