Wounded TSA Officer Lay In LAX Bleeding For 33 Minutes Before Getting Help
The TSA officer who was killed in the shooting at LAX this month was left bleeding inside the terminal for 33 minutes while paramedics waited outside.Police said that it was unsafe for paramedics to enter for those 33 minutes, even though the alleged shooter Paul Ciancia had been shot and taken into custody just five minutes after TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez was been wounded. Officials who are investigating the incident spoke to the Associated Press about the ongoing investigation.
It's not clear whether Hernandez could have survived his gunshot wounds with treatment. A police officer declared him dead at the scene after Ciancia had been taken into custody, but he may not have been qualified to make that decision, AP says. What is clear is that he did not receive any medical help during those crucial first minutes after being wounded. Hernandez was wheeled out 33 minutes after being shot and brought to a hospital where he showed no signs of life.
Those moments after gunfire erupted in LAX were chaotic. Law enforcement was worried that there could be bombs planted in the airport or that the gunman wasn't acting alone. But some first responders worry that in cases like this, the police waited to long to let paramedics in.
In more routine crimes, firefighters wait for police to give them the all-clear sign. But Los Angeles County Fire Battalion Chief Larry Collins told the AP that an active shooter scene is more complicated: "When we have an active shooter, we can't hold back a block away, we've got to go in" because clearing the scene could take hours.
Victor Payes, an airport worker who is president of the local union, says there needs to be better communication among the different agencies: "I basically think there's a lack of coordination between entities at this airport. That lack of coordination may have led to something that shouldn't have happened. We may be talking about Officer Hernandez as a survivor."