Coroner’s Autopsy Report: Slain TSA Agent Was Shot 12 Times
Slain transportation security agent Gerardo I. Hernandez — killed by a gunman at LAX — was shot 12 times, according to a full autopsy report released Friday by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.
Suspected gunman Paul Ciancia is accused of opening fire after pulling an assault rifle from a bag in Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 1, apparently targeting TSA agents.
Ciancia, who has been charged with murder in Hernandez’s death, allegedly shot at the TSA agent and then began to ascend to the terminal’s second level. The gunman then turned around and returned to shoot at Hernandez again after the agent appeared to move, according to court documents.
On Wednesday, coroner’s officials said in an initial statement about Hernandez’s autopsy that he “died within two to five minutes of being shot” due to multiple gunshot wounds. His death was ruled a homicide, according to the one-page statement.
According to Friday’s coroner’s report, Hernandez was transported from LAX to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance, where he arrived at 10:15 a.m. in full cardiac arrest.
“Despite life-saving efforts,” a doctor called Hernandez’s death at 11 a.m., two hours after the airport shooting began, according to the 22-page report.
An Associated Press report published Nov. 15 had raised questions about how long it had taken for Hernandez to receive medical attention after the shooting. Citing an unnamed source, the wire service reported that 33 minutes passed before Hernandez was brought to paramedics and that an unidentified Los Angeles Police Department officer told others Hernandez was already dead.
After the coroner announced that Hernandez died within minutes of being shot, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called previous reporting of his officer’s actions “highly irresponsible.”
“All the facts indicate that any action taken by responding officers or medical personnel would not have saved Officer Hernandez’s life,” Beck said.
The final report released Friday described Hernandez’s gunshot wounds: one through the right arm and into the right side of his torso, six to his lower right back or buttock, four around his right rear hip, and one at his right front hip.
Hernandez’s heart was grazed and his intestinal tract has 16 perforating injuries, the report states. His spinal column was severed.
Forty bullet fragments were recovered from Hernandez’s body, the report states.
Hernandez was a 39-year-old veteran TSA agent who lived in Porter Ranch. He was married and had two children.
Two other TSA agents and an airline passenger were wounded in the shooting.
KTLA’s Kennedy Ryan contributed to this report.