Los Angeles International Airport officials are analyzing the response of police, communications and operations during the Nov. 1 shooting rampage at LAX that left a TSA officer dead and wounded three others.
The report, due late next month, is in response to the shooting which left one of the nation’s busiest airports in chaos, shut down a terminal, prompted flight delays and killed the first Transportation Security Officer in the line of duty.
The alleged gunman, Paul Anthony Ciancia, is suspected of opening fire inside LAX’s Terminal 3 with a rifle, killing a U.S. government Transportation Security Administration officer, wounding two others and injuring a civilian in a rampage targeting TSA officers, court documents said.
Ciancia was shot and wounded before being taken into custody and charged with murder of a federal officer and other counts.
The news comes in the wake of a report by the Associated Press that cites two anonymous law enforcement officials saying that two armed LAX airport police officers broke department policy by going on a break without notifying a supervisor, as required, minutes before the shooting occurred.
LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon defended the actions of his officers, saying in a statement that they “were there as quick as anybody else was to deal with those particular issues,” he said. “They were not goofing off.”
Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association President Marshall McClain echoed the statement, saying they “performed exactly as they were supposed to on that horrific day.
“Their professionalism and bravery helped save countless lives and those are the facts,” he said.
McClain said the police union has been calling for a return to a more stringent airport security plan that calls for an officer to be stationed at each TSA checkpoint. That plan, put in place after 9/11, was relaxed in 2013, he said.
Now, officers are allowed to roam the airport, provided they are available to respond to a TSA checkpoint within 3 minutes of receiving a call from dispatch, McClain said.
“This would not only provide safety and reinforcement to passengers and TSA agents, it would provide a balance of public awareness that an airport police officer is near the checkpoint area,” McClain said.