The Transportation Security Administration screener who was killed by a gunman at Los Angeles International Airport Friday, was a devoted husband and the father of two children, a friend said.
Gerardo Hernandez, 39, of Porter Ranch, Calif., was the first TSA officer killed in the line of duty since the TSA was created after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He has worked at the agency since 2010.
“All he talked about was his family,” Kevin Maxwell, a former coworker at the TSA, told NBC Los Angeles, who described Hernandez as a “dedicated husband and father” as well as a good friend.
“He was very proud of his son, who played football. He always talked about how big his son was,” Maxwell added. “And his daughter — my heart goes out to his daughter.”
Neighbors told ABC Los Angeles that Hernandez was often seen playing outside with his children. One recalled that when a robber broke into Hernandez’s home, the TSA agent went from door to door warning people to be careful.
Hernandez’s wife, 35-year-old Ana Machuca, is grieving and is not ready to speak to reporters, a friend told The Post.
The shooter, identified by the FBI as Paul Ciancia, 23, of Los Angeles, made his way deep into the airport, killing Hernandez and wounding at least two other officers, before he was stopped by police near a Burger King on the departure-gate side of the security checkpoint. He is in critical condition at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and in custody, officials said.
“No words can explain the horror that we experienced today when a shooter took the life of a member of our family and injured two TSA officers at Los Angeles International Airport,” TSA administrator John Pistole said in a statement.