“Minutes before a gunman opened fire in a Los Angeles International Airport terminal last fall, killing a security screener and wounding three other people, the two armed officers assigned to the area left for breaks without informing a dispatcher as required,” the AP reports. In other words, they left the airport unprotected. “When the shooting started, the two officials say one of the armed officers assigned to the terminal was at or just outside an adjacent terminal. One of the officials said the officer was on a bathroom break and the other foot-beat officer was in a vehicle on the tarmac outside Terminal 3, headed for a meal break.” And none of the passengers or visitors in the terminal were armed. As far as we know. Aside from Paul Ciancia, who used his rifle to kill a TSA guard and proceed through the airport unopposed. The police union rep reckons “it could have been a lot worse.” What’s more . . .
Airport police union chief Marshall McClain said the two officers assigned to Terminal 3 still were in position to quickly respond to the shooting. He said he’d spoken with both and confirmed one was “going to the restroom or coming back from the restroom” and the other was headed out on a meal break but still within his patrol area.
“He hadn’t gone on break yet. He was going to go on break,” McClain said. What typically happens is, “if you’re going to go on a lunch break, you get to your location and you tell them that you’re there.” Officers often do this in order to maximize their lunch break so they don’t lose time while traveling.”
How reassuring. And yet, somehow, I don’t believe it’s true. I’d like to see the airport’s official break policies and security footage confirming these “facts.”
It’s too bad this didn’t go down in Bergstrom International, Austin, or any of the other airports where the public’s “allowed” to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms up to the security checkpoint. Different outcome? Maybe. I bet the family of the slain TSA agent would have preferred his odds in the Lone Star State.