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Friends, family members mourn victims of L.A. airport shooter

Compiled from Times wires
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published 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.

"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 today.

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

"She was one big smile. A loving person. She loved children, all she wanted to was settle down and have children," family friend Joe Knoller said.

FBI special agent Richard Garcia said Saturday it still wasn't known if Hadayet harbored anti-Israel feelings, as a former employee claimed he did. Authorities had not ruled out terrorism as a motive, but were considering the possibility that Hadayet was despondent over his personal or business affairs.

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