Accused Gunman Is Airport Screener

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Accused Gunman Is Airport Screener

Post by Thom Wilkers » Fri, 16 Aug 2002 15:51:04


Report: Accused Gunman Is Airport Screener
Wed Aug 14, 2:55 PM ET

A Houston man accused of opening fire and attacking residents of an
apartment complex appeared in court Wednesday, following an exclusive
report by News2Houston that he's employed as an airport screener.

During his court appearance, Nathaniel Lee Kenwanyama, 22, learned that
he is charged with arson and burglary with intent to commit aggravated
*** with a deadly weapon.

Houston police investigators told News2Houston that Kenwanyama had an
airport security badge on him when he was arrested over the weekend.

Kenwanyama is accused of firing several rifle rounds and then setting an
apartment on fire at about 11 p.m. Saturday at the Pebble Walk
Apartments, located in the 8500 block of Broadway near Hobby Airport in
southeast Houston.

Police later recovered a large cache of weapons and ammo belonging to
Kenwanyama, authorities said.

Investigators said that Kenwanyama was employed as a baggage screener at
Hobby Airport after being fired from his job at a private jail because
he's a registered sex offender and a convicted rapist.

Kenwanyama was hired by Houston-based Maxaero six months ago,
authorities said.

Maxaero is the same company News2Houston reported on in February
concerning its questionable background screening process.

News2Houston sent a producer to apply for a job as an airport security
screener after answering an adverti***t in a local newspaper.

In the exclusive report, News2Houston learned that the producer was
asked no questions about his past mental illnesses or background. In
fact, the producer was put to work before a background check was
completed.

Airport security experts said that they are stunned by the recent
developments.

"It's disconcerting to hear that an individual being tasked with such an
important position had a background like this gentleman had," said
Charlie LeBlanc, vice president of operations for Air Security
International.

LeBlanc said that there are numerous checks and balances for these types
of things not to happen.

"If nothing else, there should have been some questioning on what this
individual was doing for the last five years, while (he) was in a
juvenile detention facility," LeBlanc said.

Maxaero did not return News2Houston's calls for comments.