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Hearing Probes Whether Deadly Shooting At LAX Could Have Been Prevented

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A hearing was held at LAX Friday to examine last November’s deadly shooting attack that left a TSA agent dead.

The hearing also hoped to put plans in place that would keep such tragedies from happening again.

KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo reported from LAX that state legislators, law enforcement agents and emergency responders hoped to streamline operations and make communication between them all more effective.

Fajardo said that outside the meeting, LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon defended the job his officers did that day.

“The actions of our officers were heroic,” Gannon said,”Is there always things that could be done to get better than what we do? Yeah, I think there is.”

Two anonymous officials told the Associated Press that during the shooting a TSA supervisor picked up an emergency phone but the system didn’t register where the call was coming from. The supervisor reportedly fled before answering any questions.

The AP reported that it took another 90 seconds for dispatchers to get another call and pinpoint the exact location of the shooting.

The chief believes the 90 seconds didn’t create any real delay in responding.And he said police were getting information from a variety of sources.

He did acknowledge there was a glitch in the phone at the security checkpoint.

“It was not working properly,” said Gannon, “we have since checked, after that, we checked all of our phones, all the ways that we communicate with TSA or from other parts of the airport to make sure they are working properly.”

He also confirmed what KCAL9 reported last week — that two panic buttons were out of order.

“There’s no indication in Terminal 3 at the time of the shooting that any of those duress alarms were pushed,” Gannon said.

Since the shooting, Gannon says his department has looked for areas of improvement.

At this point, he said there was no plan to change the policy that allows officers to freely move about the terminals.

KCAL9 reported back in November, that the two armed officers assigned to the checkpoint were not in the terminal when the shooting occurred.

Gannon said that had no impact on the outcome.

“The fact that someone used the restroom or that someone was out on the airfield wasn’t beyond their scope of responsibility … it wasn’t like they were derelict in their duties,” Gannon said. “The issue of having one officer in a position to stop this attack, in my estimation, professionally, isn’t necessarily going to stop a guy with an assault rifle.”

 

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