On November 1, 2013, a shooter terrorized the travelers and employees of LAX with a semiautomatic, .223-caliber Smith & Wesson M&P-15 rifle which he used to shoot and kill TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez. Fortunately, the quick and decisive actions of the LAXPD officers took down the shooter and helped save countless lives.
The November 1st shooting could have gone in a very different direction had the shooter been on a different mission. Had he been less methodical; running through the terminal; non-discriminating in his targets; and had his intension been to get to a plane, many more people could have been killed. It was due to the fast thinking and swift actions of the officers of the LAXPD that lives were saved. It is worth noting that had an LAXPD officer been killed in the line of duty on November 1st, the family of that officer would receive lesser benefits than every other 830.1 designated law enforcement officer in the City of Los Angeles.
Post the shooting, an airport management commissioned After-Action Report highlighted numerous security gaps. To date, airport management has not done anything substantive to address many of the recommendations included in the report to protect us from another active shooter situation.
“Despite the obstacles that were placed in front of our officers on November 1, their response was exemplary. However, recommendations that have been put forth to better protect LAX from future similar scenarios have languished with airport management,” said Marshall McClain, President of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association. “Further, had the life of one of our officers been taken that day, there are lesser benefits in place for their families when compared to the benefits received by other 830.1 designated police agencies in the City of Los Angeles. I ask you to consider, why is the life of an LAXPD officer less valuable than the life of a City police officer?”