LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Law enforcement officials gathered at LAX Wednesday to honor a TSA officer fatally shot at the airport last week.
Gerardo Hernandez died Friday after alleged gunman Paul Ciancia entered Terminal 3 at 9:20 a.m. and opened fire. Hernandez was fatally struck and six others were injuring during the incident, according to officials.
Hernandez, 39, of Porter Ranch, was transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, where he was pronounced dead, according to reports.
He is the first TSA officer killed in the line of duty in the agency’s 12-year history, officials said.
The “Honor” flag that flew over Ground Zero was brought to the Southland to help honor Hernandez. And, as KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports, it was the first time a non-law enforcement officer was accorded that honor.
The American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents TSA officers, said Hernandez was a behavior detection officer who had recently transferred from Montana.
In the wake of the shooting, some TSA officials have called for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide bulletproof vests for agents, according to KNX 1070’s Jon Baird.
An online petition started by a TSA agent from Las Vegas has picked up more than 750 signatures since it was launched on Nov. 3.
Attorney David Borer with the American Federation of Government Employees, who supports the petition, also believes the TSA should consider having federal officers with guns stationed nearby.
“Then you would have at the checkpoint an armed law enforcement officer who could intervene immediately when an assault takes place,” Borer said.
Attorney General Eric Holder told CNN Tuesday that Transportation Security Administration officers in airports should not be armed.