Transportation Security Officers and travelers observed a moment of silence at airports across the United States Friday morning in memory of a colleague shot and killed in a lone gunman's Los Angeles International Airport rampage that targeted members of the agency.
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The 30-second moment of silence was observed at 9:20 a.m. -- about the time TSA officer Gerardo Hernandez was shot at a document checkpoint in LAX Terminal 3. The 39-year-old husband and father of two children is the first TSA officer killed in the line of duty since the agency was formed after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Checkpoint operations temporarily stopped for the moment of silence. At LAX, travelers passed by flowers, pictures, candles and other items left at an escalator near the site of the Friday Nov. 1 shootings that wounded two other TSA officers and a Southern California teacher.
TSA officer Chris Herbstritt read a statement at the Termainl 3 screening area before the moment of silence.
"Today we honor our friend and colleague, transportation security officer Gerardo Hernandez, who gave his life one week ago while protecting the traveling public," Herbstritt said. "May the work we continue to do as an agency be worthy of a sacrifice as great as the one made by TSO Hernandez."
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Hernandez would have turned 40 on Sunday.
The moment of silence comes after a U.S. Honor Flag ceremony Wednesday during which a line of TSA officers stood in salute outside LAX along the upper-level road. The Honor Flag -- it once flew at the site in New York City of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks - was brought to LAX aboard an American Airlines flight and carried in a motorcade that proceeded around the upper loop.
A public memorial service for Hernandez will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
Hernandez was working at the lower-level passenger checkpoint when Paul Anthon Ciancia, 23, allegedly opened fire at point-blank range after pulling a semi-automatic rifle from his duffel bag. Ciancia continued walking into the terminal, but turned around to shoot Hernandez again when he saw him moving, according to documents filed by federal authorities.
After shooting and wounding three others in the terminal, the gunman was shot in a confrontation with airport police. A note found with Ciancia stated he wanted to kill TSA officers, according to federal authorities.
Ciancia remains hospitalized at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He faces a charge of murder of a federal official and commission of violence at a U.S. airport.