tonight on "nightline" -- >> on the floor now! >> l.a.x. under fire. a shooter gets through with a rifle killing a tsa officer and injuring others. >> a loud bang. i mean, boom. >> the heart stopping details of the panic at the airport. >> we are going to walk quickly. >> the anti-government 23-year-old accused of being behind it all. >> spicing it up. they're sweating, shaking, curling up into a ball. how do people in the viral videos, eating food that inflicts physical pain. >> some one touched the thermost thermostat. >> we go in search of the hottest pepper in the land. >> i'm sweating. >> kiss it good-bye.
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good evening. thank you for joining us. tonight we are getting new information about a 23-year-old man who went on a rampage at los angeles international airport today shooting numerous tsa officers and killing at least one while travelers cowered for their lives. how did he make it past security? what was his motive? abc's david wright has the late-breaking details about the terrifying scene. >> everybody on the floor. on the floor now. >> reporter: the nightmare started at 9:20 a.m.
>> an active shooting unsettling word. a man armed with a high powered rifle marched up to the tsa checkpoint in terminal three and opened fire. >> he was all in blue. wearing like all blue. he blend in with the tsa with the people that work in the securities. first shot went out it was a loud bang. i mean, boom. >> reporter: witnesses say he appeared to be aiming at tsa officers killing one tsa officer, wounding another. that's the wounded officer running to safety. flanked by airport police. one passenger gave a chilling account of his close call with the gunman. >> he said, tsa, with a question mark, and i just shook my head. he kept on going. i was looking down the barrel of a gun. he was carrying a rifle that was about, 2 1/2 feet long rifle. he didn't seem to have anything in it for me. so -- you know, we didn't have a long
conversation. i just, i just shook my head. and cowered in the corner. >> reporter: at least four others were injured in the melee. did people panic? >> everybody panicked. everybody dropped to the ground, started crawling across the ground quickly. >> nick pew there at terminal three checkpoint line. he followed others out the nearest exit and found himself on the tarmac. >> we are going to be loaded on to shuttles soon. where police were searching for a possible second suspect. >> i went out an emergency exit and ran down on to the tarmac, running across tarmac, the cops come to me. thinking i am maybe the guy, hand up, down on the ground. handcuffed. i was left there on the ground for, 10 minutes. >> they thought you were the suspect? >> i think so. absolutely. >> reporter: inside the terminal, pandemonium. some hid in the bathroom. others ducked for cover behind whatever large objects they could find. >> come on, you guys. we grabbed all the big luggage. i stacked them high.
big row, stacked them. next thing you know. i look, i see him shooting down the escalator. i told my wife when i say three, we ran. i waited until he is not looking toward us. so we could all run. >> reporter: police led some passengers out through the terminals, hand raised. others escorted on to the tarmac until the coast was clear. the gunman made it all the way inside the terminal having shot his way past the checkpoint. >> the suspect got back far into a terminal. a burger king quite a ways away from the screening station. he was able to get back there. >> they cornered him outside burger king and shot him. that's his gun on the floor. >> everybody stay together. >> police believe he was acting alone and ided him. >> today we are going to confirm the identity of the subject, it is paul anthony ciancia. he is 23 years old. he is a u.s. citizen. he is formerly a rez divesidentw
jersey. we are investigating his back ground and more about him. >> everybody. >> reporter: the tsa officer identified as girardo hernandez, the first ever to be killed in the line of do they. the tsa says he was a behavior detection officers. officers who watch the check points for strange be hair. in all six people including the gunmen were transported to area hospitals. doctors say one is in critical condition with gunshot wound. late today authorities say he intended the carnage to be worse. >> there was additional round that this gunman had. and the fact that the officers were able to neutralize the threat as they did, there were more than 100 more round that could have literally killed everybody in that terminal today. >> as for a possible motive. only clues at this hour. law enforcement sources tell abc news, authorities found a note from the suspect, with an anti-government message indicating he expected to die
today. the note ended with the letters nwo, believed off to be a reference to the new world order. tonight his roommate said this didn't sound like the person he knew. >> there was never any discussion about like the federal government or problems with the government. there was never any kind of about hatred or any hatred group or anything like that. he was a really nice guy. a bit loner,troverted that i would ever expect him to do something like this. >> although authorities believe he acted alone, they're investigating possible ties to the domestic terror organizations. >> we believe at this point that there was a lone shooter. that he acted at least right now with the only person that was armed in this incident. >> this morning another possible clue from the pensville police department, paul ciancia's home town. a small town. the police chief knows the family.
>> chief, you know the family well, you grew up with the father. what kind of people are they? >> good people. i think this is circumstances the fbi is doing a great job. obviously you, know it is back home, and we're going to do the best to help them out. >> the family called them this morning. warning of disturbing text message he's sent. abc news spoke with the pennsville police all. up atheir younger child got a text message from paul stating that there was a comment in there, about his well being he wanted to possibly take his own life. at that point, paul, his father. called me. i went over there and made some phone calls to lapd to get a well being check on him. >> clearly they were too late. the incident virtually shuttle down the nation's third busiest airport for most of the day. the lapd blocking off all main roads leading into l.a.x. passengers arriving to catch flights were stuck in traffic, were stuck on foot with their bags. the few passengers who landed
had to hoof it half a mile to catch a ride. most of them milled at the ticket counters where it was standing room only. terminals themselves were cleared most of the day. terminal 3 is still a crime scene. but the rest are now open. when the terminals did reopen late today there was a traffic jam of incoming passengers on foot. >> i don't think we will get in. >> lugging their roller bags. today's incident is prompting a review of security procedures at u.s. airports. tsa union, for one pressing for more officers to be armed, most do not carry guns. if you are flying at any u.s. airport in the next couple days expect to see a more visible presence of local police. and if you are flying out of l.a.x., brace yourself. it could take days to get things back to normal. i'm david wright for "nightline," at l.a.x. >> thank you, david for that report.
next, it's getting hot in here. as americans search for the spiciest foods, we search for the spiciest pepper. >> and the road may have been paved with good intentions, but that didn't help this poor car owner. you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. mmmhmmm...everybody knows that. well, did you know that old macdonald was a really bad speller? your word is...cow. cow. cow. c...o...w... ...e...i...e...i...o. [buzzer] dangnabbit. geico. fifteen minutes could save you...well, you know. more than a new interior lighting system. ♪ it is more than a hot stone massage. and more than your favorite scent infused into the cabin.
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i'm a journalist. -i am a singer. a businesswoman. -i am an artist. an educator. -a sister. an advocate. -a leader. a queen. -i am a friend. i am... i am one of more than a million people living with hiv in the u.s. we are not alone. uh, i don't know what's happening. "start a new chat." what did i do? ok. wow. that is so weird. hello! hey! hi! hi!
oh, my gosh. hi. god. i don't even know what to say right now, i'm so nervous. gia, you're so big! come closer to the camera. wait. now you're in my face. gia: bye! woman: love you! alex: that was so good. in the past few years, more fast food menus than ever are using the word spicy. spice its hot, really hot. with ambitious pepper picking
producers, created in what is supposed to be food, it's actually more like pepper spray than a classic jalapeno. heat seeking consumers are fueling a pepper arms race. we put abc's darren ravelle to the test literally in search of the hottest of them all. >> is there anything hotter than a hot pepper these days? not only pushing our tastebuds. >> in our spicy sauce, green chiles. >> a pepper getting more attention. >> reporter: and our body to outrageous extremes. >> i'm sweating. >> ready, set, go. >> reporter: go on youtube, you will find thousand of postings. >> soon as you put it in your mouth. >> reporter: devoted to super hot papers. like the ghost pepper, so spicy
it causes people to tear, sweat, and curl up. >> some one touched the thermostat. we set out to find out why pepper pain is so popular and to find the hottest pepper in the land. our journey begins in brooklyn at chile pepper festival where people search for the height of heat. hoping to add a new dimension to the same old meal. we're assure it is a national craze. >> there is not much i can't handle. >> reporter: when we see this at a restaurant in boston. this top chef is whipping up a hot pepper halloween hell night. >> it is a new world of hot. peppers are getting hotter every day. hot food for the hearty who pay handsomely for a serving of spicy anguish. >> people want to experience
something they never experienced before. they truly can do that with food and especially spicy food. >> but the more we immersed ourselves in all things pepper, the more we were convince weed had to come here, rock hill, south carolina. the epicenter of the hot pepper universe, and the home of ed curry, a former banker turned farmer, responsible for creating one of the hottest peppers in the world. >> when you close your eyes do you count? >> yeah, i see peppers. you know when i look at my children, i see peppers. because i -- >> reporter: one of the hobbyists who cross breeds the peppers seeking to generate the most heat. >> we have stumbled upon what makes peppers grow. upon the nutrients that make them hot. >> if this thing doesn't scream don't eat me from the look of it. there is another dead give away. curry's breed is called the carolina reaper. >> that's hot.
a hot pepper. a good pepper. >> reporter: a pepper that is more than 100 times hotter than a jalapeno. >> the pools of it, at the bottom. >> look would evil. >> it is really hot. >> reporter: after they are picked, his peppers are mixed and crushed. made into a paste here at his pucker bud pepper company. they then become the natural heat behind some of the hottest hot sauces in the world. >> the difference between having a little kick in your mouth and having your entire body pumping adrenaline. >> reporter: it pays these days for curry to position himself as the the skcaptain of the active ingredient in peppers responsible for making them scream. there is something for wanting to use it over and over again. >> the euphoria of going on the roller coaster ride. the rush that you get happens every single time. you keep on chasing that rush over and over again.
>> reporter: in fact, the change in demographics is one of the things in his favor. hispanics now make up 17% of the u.s. population which has helped push salsa ahead of ketchup as the nation's top selling condiment. the latest brand of hot chili sauce, sold 20 million bottles. heinz has hot and spicy ketchup. and this week. sonic unveiled a spicy island fire chicken sandwich with habanero sauce. curry admits his pepper is mint to beep pa part of a meal not p hole into your mouth. >> the trick is chew it up a lot before you swallow it. >> really? >> of course that doesn't stop curry's employees from the occasional testing. >> well that's the third reaper i have eaten, a little bit. i get so emotional.
ha-ha. oh. now it is just a searing burn right here. >> this year curry projects his business will harvest 17 million peppers. he is searching for the ultimate validation, submitting his lab work to guinness world records with help from the nearby university where a chemist spend his time testing the peppers actual units of heat. >> from a chemical standpoint, how close is this to -- to the compound that makes up say -- police grade pepper spray. >> well, it's actually -- chemically almost identical. >> it sure sound hot. but what type of reporter would i be itchf i just took their wo for it. >> this its so dangerous. >> am i going to do this? >> i am going to do it. this is such a bad idea. >> okay. >> dragging eager chemistry student, kyle rind along with me. just a tiny bite.
>> whoa. >> right off the bat. it just, it just gets you. i mean -- its say pezzed to get worse from here? >> suffice it to say, it was a painful 20 minutes. >> what am i going to. >> see how this would have any commercial value at all. that just doesn't make sense. to the contrary this business couldn't be any hotter. >> makes you sweat. makes tears come out of your eyes. love when it makes me cry in a good way. for "nightline," darren ravelle, in rock hill, south carolina. >> darren ravelle, a man who will do anything for the story. next heading to the milk chug-a-lug competition at the iowa state fair. kidding. a fan of the growing spicy trend? tweet us at "nightline."
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tonight's "feed frenzy" full of unintended consequences. some how the christmas classic deck the halls is creating a controversy. hallmark decided to change the word gay in the phrase -- to fun on the sweater ornament. they explained back when it was translated, the word gay had one real meaning and they didn't want to leave it open to misinterp tags. not sure who is misinterp regt it. hallma later admitted it was awe mistake. seniors welcoming freshmen with a full moon midnight kiss has long been a tradition. even century's old rituals can lose the luster when a swath of the student body starts contracting the flu and coughing. 52 reported cases this year.
call me crazy, but maybe they should kid starting with a handshake and going from there. >> and a textbook example of things not going as planned. your local friendly tow truck driver comes to the rs cescue ar an accident. everything seems fine, a classic maneuver. until it is not. you have to be kidding me? let's watch that again. focus on the tow truck driver briefly chasing the vehicle. even the west of intentions could not have saved the day either. love to hear huh ow he is gg to explain that one. a follow-up to a story earlier this week. abc news with center for public integrity aired a story that showed how medical opinions of doctors at johns hopkins medical institutions helped coal companies thwart efforts by ailing mine workers who receive disability benefits. in "nightline's" report, senator jay rockefell