The man suspected of opening fire at Los Angeles International Airport, Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, faces charges of murder of a federal officer.
US prosecuters have also filed a charge of committing violence at an international airport.
US Attorney Andre Birotte told reporters: “The murder is believed to be a premeditated act of first degree, and in these circumstances, the defendant faces either maximum penalty of life without the possibility of parole, or the potential of the imposition of the death penalty,” he said.
Authorities said the gunman fatally shot one Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer, identified as Gerardo Hernandez, 39, who was the first from the agency to be killed in the line of duty.
Ciancia pushed through the security gates and ran deep into the passenger boarding area at Terminal 3, before law enforcement officers caught up with him in a food court.
He was shot and wounded by police before being taken into custody.
The investigation into the attack will examine the shooting itself as well as the gunman’s background and motivation.