LAX TSA Agent Bled-Out Waiting for Medical Assistance

Turns out Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez was left unattended for 33 minutes after being shot at LAX airport on Nov. 1. It was one of those “secure the perimeter” deals—despite the fact that the shooter was in custody five minutes after the TSA Agent was shot. And one of those “why the hell didn’t one of his colleagues administer first aid” deals. “Representatives for the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles Airport Police said they couldn’t comment on the ongoing investigation until extensive reports are finished.” One wonders if these “extensive” reports will be released before the report on the Newtown massacre—where delayed police response may have cost lives. And which report will be the bigger whitewash. [h/t: DrVino]


  1. avatar Ralph says:

    Maybe the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles Airport Police are also tired of their girlfriends and wives getting felt up by the TSA.

    1. avatar Jesse says:

      Probably shouldn’t have laughed as hard as I did.

      1. avatar JP says:

        OOPS, Spit take, another wet keyboard!

    2. avatar Jay1987 says:

      Pretty sure I am now going to hell for laughing at that.

  2. avatar Ross says:

    Can’t say this surprises me.

  3. avatar Skyler says:

    TSA thugs aren’t trained or equipped to administer first aid, and that is fine and is exactly why underwear sniffers should not be badged or armed. But the cops don’t have that excuse. The cops will have the same compassion for you if you get shot too.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Let’s put it this way. If I’m ever bitten by a rattlesnake, I’m not expecting a cop to suck out the poison.

      1. avatar Gene says:

        Wouldn’t you reasonably expect the police to at least call EMT and, upon arrival, lead them to you if they are still there?

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          No. I’d expect them to take care of the rattlesnake.

        2. avatar Gyufygy says:

          I was told by some EMTs and Paramedics that LEOs are the first to arrive and administer aid in a surprisingly large percentage of medical emergencies/911 calls in my area.

      2. avatar Werewolf1021 says:

        I’d hope not. That would be a terrible way to treat a rattlesnake bite.

  4. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I read somewhere that only the first five of those 33 minutes were an “active shooter situation.” After that, the shooter was down, and it was just a security sweep for co-conspirators and/or devices.

  5. avatar mountocean says:

    …for your safety.

  6. avatar ropingdown says:

    Remarkably similar to the Capitol Police SWAT team, which announced it couldn’t get to the Washington Navy Yard active-shooter scene faster because of obstruction by official emergency vehicles. It was called off, of course. But had the way not been blocked by security officials and vehicles, they would have been on the shooter within a few minutes, well before the ‘call off’ time. And the guys who were already on the scene? They didn’t get to the shooter. Too busy setting up a perimeter. That, apparently, is the favorite assignment of those determined to ‘get home safe.’ Should I trade in my Benelli for a “Perimeter Establishment Signalling Device”? Nah. I’m already home.

  7. avatar Shawn says:

    “…Hernandez was left unattended for 33 minutes after being shot…” That’s just plain pathetic.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Forming a defensive perimeter. Apparently there were EMTs and paramedics staged not far away, but they weren’t allowed in because the scene wasn’t “clear.”

      1. avatar D. says:

        And there was a go-team ready to, well, go to hell and back, just outside Libya.

        I bet if you had polled, or wait, just asked all the waiting EMTs, you would have found more than a few that would have entered the terminal. I’m sad they didn’t just go. Or that one LEO would have just said, this is BS, who want’s to go with me?

        We have never been a nation of followers. I’m sick of this permission slip/hall pass mentality. But we are heading that way. In public activity, more chiefs than indians is essential to distributed democracy.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          “We have never been a nation of followers.”
          Look around you. “Follow me” has been replaced with “Fill out and submit this form to obtain…”

        2. avatar Luc S. says:

          As a former paramedic who has responded to a good number of scenes like this – including the Columbine incident – I can tell you that it’s not a question of willingness. One of the first things that you are taught as an EMS responder is that you are not there to create new patients – nor to become one. You are not armed, generally carrying a fair amount of gear, and are thus prevented from entering scenes until cleared by law enforcement. Yes, there are many of us who would be happy to go onto a scene and help the injured like some military combat medic. But the system is designed this way for a reason, and in most cases it works.

      2. avatar B says:

        Same as all the other *mass* shootings, the 2nd responders are being intentionally held up to increase the body count. This man was a sacrifice to the altar of civilian disarmament.

        1. avatar Luc S. says:

          I’m sorry, no. That’s just silly.

  8. avatar Bob says:

    This is the government’s SOP. It’s all about power and control. They never did nor ever will care about the people they protect and serve. It’s more noticeable now because they are beginning to become aware that more and more people see through them.

  9. avatar Totenglocke says:

    So this begs the question – was it laziness / stupidity that caused this, or were people ordered to let him die in order to push the civilian disarmament agenda?

    1. avatar miserylovescompany says:

      Little of both. The government is incapable of thinking in a constructive manner, is all.


      1. avatar Shawn says:

        It is a constructive manner. They just do not care who gets hurt for their agenda.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Applying Occam’s Razor, I’d say laziness and stupidity. Nobody gives a rat’s ass about the TSA.

      1. avatar D. says:

        That’s just not true. When someone is hurt, rank or service branch doesn’t fucking matter. Never has. We go get ’em. Always have.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          “Rank or service branch” is military-speak. TSA “agents” aren’t military, they aren’t police, they’re just people who like to jiggle others people’s balls.

  10. avatar 0351 says:

    It’s just the result of excessive regulation on SOPs, and the fact that too many departments think that fancy equipment is enough, rather than extensive training. Also the ridiculous self centered “get home safe” bull. Avoiding unnecessary risks is one thing; being unwilling to put others above yourself in that line of work is another. Such a sad waste.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: If you want to guarantee you’ll be home safe tonight, get out of police work and drive a bus.

  11. avatar Piet Padkos says:

    This is going to sound horrible, but do you guys think maybe they just forgot about him?

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I think they misplaced him.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      They were waiting for the EMTs to answer “just a few” security questions.

    3. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Technically he was inside the boarding area and the EMTs didn’t have boarding passes.

  12. avatar Paladin says:

    It’s simple, never expect a stranger to value your life over their own. This is why an individual right to keep and bear arms is so crucial, nine times out of ten a police officer will consider getting home safe to be more important than saving your life. As a victim however, the choice is much clearer, because saving your own life and getting home safe are one and the same.

    I don’t particularly blame them for this, it’s a pretty natural reaction, it just means that I have to be sure I can save my own bacon.

  13. avatar Steve Ramsey says:

    Well, that’s it. I carry a gun, so I’ll be carrying a small blowout kit from now on as well. Because the cops won’t let the medics in.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      The medics make their own policies.

      Incidentally, more police are now carrying combat tourniquet kits for just this sorta reason. Can’t put one on someone’s chest though…

  14. avatar disthunder says:

    That’s no way to die. I wonder if he could have survived? Bleeding out in the middle of of a giant complex in a giant city….

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      It happens in a major city every day during rush hour…

    2. avatar Nagurski says:

      At the Army surgical hospitals in Iraq something like 99% of patients admitted with a heartbeat ended up living. That guy would have definitely survived.

  15. avatar Skyler says:

    Today on the way home from work, traffic started piling up and I reached an accident. Simple fender bender, one car rear ended another. Women in the car in back was a bit dazed by the air bag but was fine.

    No one stopped to help. The rear car was stuck in the flow of traffic and no one but me stopped to help. The front car had two young, strong men, about 25 years old. They stood around and walked around and didn’t do anything to help.

    I stopped, made sure no one was seriously hurt, and told the others to help me push the car out of traffic. They looked happy that someone showed up to tell them what to do. The woman seemed more together than these men.

    I think this is just another example of what we’ve come to. People don’t seem to know how to act when things go wrong. Our society no longer values taking action. They are taught in school to not defend themselves from fights and to tattle on bullies instead of confronting them. I have a nephew who was expelled because he stopped another boy from beating a girl in his school, he was told he was not allowed to fight for any reason. I thought he deserved a medal.

    So when a TSA agent is shot and is bleeding, and no one is designated as the official who allows the EMT’s in, then no one comes in. It’s pathetic.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      The land of the free and the home of the brave.

      One sentence. Two lies.

  16. avatar Excedrine says:

    When seconds count, help is just minutes away.

  17. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I’m glad that if I get shot in combat a medic is probably fairly close to stabilize me. The worst case scenario is someone applies buddy aid to slow the bleeding until a medic gets to me. Something similar should have happened with this guy. If it is still an active shoot but your people are shooting back medics should be doing their job even if its dangerous in the meantime. That is just my opinion.

    1. avatar disthunder says:

      I keep playing that scenario in my mind…
      Nobody could grab his collar and drag him out of fire? Did his fellow TSAers just book it to the exit? The airport cops that “secured” the scene couldn’t peel off a pair and run him toward a door?
      I just keep imagining lying on the floor, pouring out a hole in my chest, with a bunch of jackasses in combat gear stepping over me to get to a spot they can help 20 of their buddies secure…

  18. avatar Gunracer1958 says:

    With all the tooling up that we’ve seen with LEOs, why haven’t they included combat trained medical personnel? I am sure that there are hundreds of Navy Corpsmen or Army Medics that wouldn’t hesitate to move into a hostile environment to render first aid, for anyone that was injured in the incident.

    Maybe it’s because LEO is more interested in being HSLD “operators”, instead of working to keep the peace.

  19. avatar Hannibal says:

    “First aid” is not sufficient to deal with many high-velocity gunshot wounds. Even if you plug the external hole, internal bleeding can lead to death just as fast (especially with a chest wound). I can’t say that the police at LAX are trained a certain way, but I know some departments train their officers to concentrate on shooters in active shooter situations, and specifically ignore victims until the situation is dealt with. They are also trained to be wary of a second shooter. It makes sense to concentrate on the bad guy, and also makes sense to watch out for a second shooter… but when you combine those two it presents a problem. I doubt the EMTs want to come in without being told it’s all safe. Not sure if there’s an easy solution here, to be honest.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      A second or third shooter is incredibly rare. Why is waiting out the search before aiding the wounded a good idea? Other than Columbine, I can’t think of security-breaching attack with multiple shooters…in the US.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        That’s the problem – we’re equipping and training LEO to respond to military attacks like those OCONUS, at the behest of the fearmongers at DHS. Multiple shooters, like Kenya. Car bombs and suicide bombers like in the Middle East.

        The chance of that happening here? Slim to none. But just in case… And by the way, we need another few billion for the “Cyber Pearl Harbor” prevention contracts.

    2. avatar Paladin says:

      Try telling that to a combat lifesaver. Unless a vital structure (heart or CNS) is hit it’s quite possible to stabilize the victim, the vast majority of GSWs are survivable with immediate attention. Quickclot, tourniquets, gauze and Israeli bandages can do a lot more than just plugging up the external wound, this is why most combat first aid courses emphasize finding the source of the bleeding and packing the wound.

      Bleedouts don’t need to happen in an urban area, especially when there are trained medical personnel nearby.

    3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      And, in how many active shooter cases has there been a second shooter? The clear majority of cases shows the lone gunman is what people should be expecting.

      I think now we have an idea why the press is constantly reporting multiple shooters: over-active LEO imaginations.

  20. avatar Geoff says:

    So, I read an article that said one officer had declared him dead and that’s why help was withheld. I know from first hand experience with our local swat teams (City and county), both have a Paramedic on the team who would be able to determine if someone is dead. Anyway, if they thought he was alive and the situation was “Hot” they could have pulled him out to rescue. Extraction should have been an option…

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      Yeah. That’s why cops aren’t supposed to pronounce someone dead.

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      But exertion wasn’t an option. It’s LAX – gotta look GOOD for the cameras.

  21. avatar Mike says:

    “… said they couldn’t comment on the ongoing investigation until extensive reports are finished.”

    Speaking of “extensive”, where’s the report on the LAPD cops that shot up a Torrance neighborhood. The two newspaper delivery ladies received a settlement of over $4 million, but still no report. If I had panicked and emptied my gun at a delivery person, I’d be in prison by now. I guess by “extensive” they mean “until people forget about it”.

  22. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    And this shows once again that you and I are the true “first responders”.

    If a situation like this happens to you, do NOT wait for police or EMTs to show up and figure out what to do. Immediately apply first aid (apply direct pressure to wounds) immediately go to the nearest hospital. If you are unable to apply the first aid and transport yourself, have someone else do it.

  23. avatar Steve says:

    This isn’t just sad. It’s literally sickening.

  24. avatar JW says:

    I have no words for how mad this makes me. Doing nothing to save another’s life is the same as if they had shot them themselves.

  25. avatar Adub says:

    This makes me laugh. I think of the Marine Corps ads on tv where they show men running toward danger. After Columbine, where the teacher bled out while the cops cowered with their dicks in their hands, I realized nobody is going to help you. The same airline passengers who cowered on 9/11 are everywhere. Me? I will fight to the death at the first hint of danger, and use other people as human shields while I kick and gouge. Everyone else? Huddle in place and be a statistic. Pussies.

    1. avatar Bret says:

      Not all of the passengers cowered. United 93’s fought back.

  26. avatar RLC2 says:

    Hey PTOG, a little respect for the dead. He was a father, and regardless of what you and I think of TSA, he was just there doing his job.

    We don’t know all the facts here, and I thought we learned our lesson on Sandy Hook not to speculate based on media reporting…

  27. avatar Aharon says:

    If the man on the floor bleeding from a bullet wound was an LA Cop I doubt he would have been left bleeding his life away for 33 minutes while the so-called perimeter was secured.

  28. avatar gs650g says:

    The TSA officer died and immediately came calls to arm 45000 TSA agents. If he survived would there be such a call? Maybe, maybe not but legislation avenging his death with arming agents has a better chance with images of blue uniforms paying respect at a ceremony. I doubt they intentionally let him die but they would prefer we not focus on failed emergency processes and instead look at creating an airport army with arrest powers.

  29. avatar Paul McCain says:

    33 minutes?

    Holy Hades!!

    Anyone with combat medic training could have taken quick action to stop the bleeding, administer an IV, stabilize the guy and … maybe even get him on the ambulance and out of Dodge.

    Total fail!

  30. avatar NWGlocker says:

    This dovetails into a public service message. I strongly encourage people to take general first aid/CPR or a gunshot-specific first aid course. Saving a life is not just about having a hand on the gun, it’s about knowing how to handle the injuries.

  31. avatar Joseph B Campbell says:

    Could it possibly boil down to the fact that no one wanted to get their hands dirty!?

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