The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

November 21, 2013

Coroner: TSA officer died minutes after being shot

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Transportation Security Administration officer who was killed in a gunman's attack at Los Angeles International Airport died two to five minutes after he was shot, coroner's officials said Wednesday.

The detail comes after The Associated Press reported Friday that agencies are investigating whether paramedics could have come to TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez's aid sooner after the Nov. 1 shooting.

Hernandez lay on the floor 20 feet from the exit for 33 minutes before he was rushed to an ambulance outside, even though the gunman had been subdued within five minutes, officials told AP. But it was unclear when Hernandez died or whether immediate medical attention could have saved his life.

Although Hernandez's autopsy hasn't been finalized, there was pressure to clarify when he died, said Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter. More details were expected to be released in a final report later this week, he said.

Formal conclusions could take months, but what's known raises the possibility that a lack of coordination between police and fire officials prevented speedy treatment for Hernandez and other victims.

Authorities say Paul Ciancia was targeting TSA workers in a vendetta against the federal government when he pulled a semi-automatic rifle out of a duffel bag inside Terminal 3 and shot Hernandez.

In court documents and interviews, authorities spelled out a chilling chain of events. After Ciancia fired repeatedly at Hernandez, he went up an escalator, turned back to see Hernandez move, and returned to shoot him again, according to surveillance video reviewed by investigators.

He then fired on two other uniformed TSA employees and an airline passenger, who all were wounded, as he moved methodically through the security checkpoint to the passenger gate area. Airport police shot him as panicked travelers hid in stores and restaurants.

Hernandez eventually arrived at the hospital with no signs of life and doctors worked for an hour to revive him.

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