LAX Shooting: L.A. to Honor Fallen TSA Officer
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has asked that flags on city buildings be flown at half-staff and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has asked officers to wear black bands on their badges to honor the TSA officer who was killed in a shooting at LAX on Nov. 1.
The Transportation Security Administration has identified the officer killed as Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39. He's the first officer killed in the line of duty in the agency's 12-year history. The suspected gunman, Paul Ciancia, 23, toting a semi-automatic rifle, had shot his way past a security checkpoint in a deadly rampage that sent hundreds of travelers fleeing in terror.
No other details were released about Hernandez or the two other TSA officers who were wounded.
In an email to TSA employees Friday evening, TSA Administrator John Pistole said he would be traveling to Los Angeles on Saturday to meet with the "family of our fallen comrade" and the injured employees who are recovering from their wounds. He'll also spend time with the TSA workforce at LAX.
"Together, we will get through this," Pistole wrote. "Our faith will guide us and our professionalism will ensure our ability to carry out our mission."
President Barack Obama called Pistole to express his condolences to the families and friends of the TSA officer who was killed and the two others who were wounded.
Obama said he is grateful for all the brave TSA personnel who protect the nation's transportation systems, the White House said in a statement. Obama also spoke with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to express his gratitude for those who responded to the shooting.
Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Armando Hogan says five people were taken to hospitals after the shooting: the gunman, the TSA officer who died, two other people who were shot, and one person with a broken ankle. A sixth person was treated at the scene for ringing in the ears from gunfire.
The TSA said both surviving shooting victims are TSA officers.
Airport officials say 746 flights nationwide were affected by the incident. Some 46 were diverted, and others were held at LAX or at the originating airport. Terminal 3, where the shooting occurred, remains closed as the forensics investigation continues.