LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — The Transportation Security Administration officer who was killed when a man opened fire in Los Angeles International Airport earlier this month died within two to five minutes of being shot, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
Gerardo Hernandez, 39, died of multiple gunshot wounds on Nov. 1. His death was officially ruled a homicide.
The autopsy negates accusations that something more could have been done to save Hernandez.
Last week, the Associated Press reported that two law enforcement officials said it took 33 minutes for airport police to transfer Hernandez into an ambulance.
In addition, the president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association raised the possibility that medical attention was delayed because a Los Angeles Police Department officer erroneously told other responders Hernandez was dead.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck released a statement Wednesday in response to the coroner’s report, which said, “Some of the reporting on this incident was highly irresponsible. All the facts indicate that any action taken by responding officers or medical personnel would not have saved Officer Hernandez’s life. What concerns me most about this is that it brought needless trauma to the grieving family members of Officer Hernandez. It is unconscionable to inflict unnecessary additional suffering to a family that lost a husband, a father, and a loved one in this tragic incident.”
Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates LAX, also issued a statement that said the coroner’s report is a reminder that “it is important to refrain from drawing conclusions until all of the facts are known.”
“Numerous investigations and inquiries into the incident and response are under way,” according to LAWA. “An after-action workgroup is rigorously analyzing all aspects of the multi-discipline response. The findings of that workgroup will provide the best perspective from which to draw conclusions, make recommendations or take other corrective action.”
Hernandez’s wife told KCAL9’s Suraya Fadel that she did not want to hear about the new findings.
Meantime, Paul Ciancia, the 23-year-old suspected lone gunman, has been charged with a federal count of murder. He is currently in federal custody.
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