TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez waited 33 minutes before receiving medical attention after being shot earlier this month at LAX, a delay that might have cost Hernandez his life.
After being shot by alleged gunman Paul Anthony Ciancia on November 1st, Hernandez lay wounded on the floor, only 20 feet from an exit, as paramedics waited for clearance to enter the terminal. They were kept 150 yards away for more than 25 minutes after the gunman was shot and taken into custody. Eventually, Hernandez was put in a wheelchair by police to a waiting ambulance, at which time it was already too late.
"I am appalled that Officer Hernandez was left unattended for 33 minutes after the brutal attack he suffered," said J. David Cox Sr., the president of the union that represents TSA officers. "If someone had gotten to him earlier, this could have been a survival story. Instead a wife is left without a husband, children without a father, and coworkers without one of their beloved comrades."
No officer attempted any first aid on Hernandez during the 33 minutes after he was shot, and there were miscommunications between the paramedics and law enforcement officers in the terminal.
"Obviously it's in the back of our minds whether Officer Hernandez could have made it through," Victor Payes, a TSA officer, told reporters. "We're all a little frustrated."
It's unclear whether Hernandez would have survived his injuries had he received speedier care.