Family, friends mourn victims of L.A. airport shooting

Monday, July 8, 2002

LOS ANGELES -- Friends and relatives gathered Sunday to mourn the two people killed in the July 4 shooting at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport, which was condemned by some as an act of terrorism.

The FBI says it still doesn't know why Hesham Mohamed Hadayet targeted the ticket area of Israel's national airline, where he gunned down Yaakov Aminov, a 46-year-old diamond jeweler, and Victoria Hen, 25, who worked behind the El Al counter.

Aminov, a father of eight with another child on the way, was remembered Sunday as a selfless man dedicated to family and faith.

"This morning we say our final shalom to Yaakov, a man who valued Jewish tradition beyond all else," Rabbi David Adatto told hundreds of mourners outside the storefront Orthodox synagogue that Aminov helped found in San Fernando Valley.

'My best friend'

"He was my best friend, a true soul mate," said Michael Shabtai, the friend Aminov had taken to the airport on the Fourth of July.

After the service, Aminov's remains were taken to the airport where they were to be flown to Israel for burial on Monday.

Mourners gathered in the Mission Hills section of the San Fernando Valley to pay their respects to Hen.

Hadayet was the fourth person in line at the El Al counter Thursday when he opened fire, killing Aminov and Hen and wounding three others, authorities said.

He fired 10 or 11 bullets before he was killed by an El Al security guard.

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