LOS ANGELES -- Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, who shot two people
and injured three others at the El Al ticket counter at Los
Angeles International Airport on July 4, told a friend he
was having money problems and his business was on the brink
of collapse, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Hadayet was in line at the ticket counter in the Tom
Bradley International Airport at LAX when he opened fire,
killing Victoria Hen, 25, and Yaakov Aminov, 46, before he
was killed by an El Al security guard.
Hadayet, who operated Five Star Limousine Service out of
his Irvine, Calif. apartment, was having good luck until
about one year ago. He moved from Egypt 10 years ago on a
six-month tourist visa, earned money working illegally as a
cab driver and later bought a limousine before he knew how
to drive one, the newspaper said. His wife won a lottery
for permanent residency in the U.S., keeping Hadayet from
However, in recent months, Hadayet, described as a quiet,
devout Muslim, could not keep up with his liability
insurance and his wife sought out neighborhood baby-sitting
work, the Times reported.
Hadayet started the limousine business in 1997, and bought
a stretch limousine in November 1998. According to the
Associated Press, he put $3,000 down on the $30,000 vehicle
and agreed to $1,225 monthly payments. Virgil Budnic, a car
salesman, said Hadayet assured him he knew how to drive a
stretch limousine, but put a gash in the passenger side
when he hit a pole moments after getting behind the wheel.
Israeli officials say the shooting is an act of terrorism,
but U.S. authorities say Hadayet appeared to be acting
alone. FBI officials say Hadayet did go to the airport with
two guns and a knife and the intent to kill, but his motive
has been unexplained.