Wounded TSA Agent: "I Was Injured Helping An Elderly Man"

Wounded TSA Agent: "I Was Injured Helping An Elderly Man"

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Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11 / AP) A Transportation Security Administration officer who was wounded in a gunman's deadly attack at Los Angeles International Airport is speaking out for the first time.

Thirty-six-year-old Tony Grigsby was shot twice in the right foot during Friday's attack. He walked with a cane Monday as he read a statement outside his South Los Angeles home.

Grigsby says he was trying to help an elderly man get to safety when the gunman shot him. He said that even after being wounded, his main concern was helping people who came up to him.

Grigsby was a friend of Gerardo Hernandez, the officer who was killed. He fought back tears as he called Hernandez a wonderful person who will be missed.

Authorities say Grigsby plans to return to work after he recovers.

 


RELATED LINKS:

 

Slain LAX TSA Officer Remembered

FBI Asking For Help In LAX Shooting Investigation

STORY ARCHIVES: A list of previous stories about the LAX shooting incident.

PHOTO GALLERY: Photos from the LAX shooting incident

 


 

In response to the fatal shooting, the union representing Transportation Security  Administration officers on Monday called today for the establishment of a new class of armed officers with law enforcement powers as a means of improving airport security.

J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said the development of a new class of TSA officers would create "a larger and more consistent armed presence in screening areas" and would be "a positive step" in improving security for TSA agents -- such as Gerardo I. Hernandez, who was shot and killed by a gunman at LAX Friday -- and the flying public.


"... The sad truth is that our TSA officers are subject to daily verbal assaults and far too frequent physical attacks while performing their security duties," Cox said.

The federation represents all 45,000 TSA officers, none of whom are currently armed on the job.

Attorney General Eric Holder appeared to agree with the concept of re-examining the role of TSA officers.

"The responsibility for protecting airports is not a TSA function,"

Holder said at a news conference. "But it's something that we need to examine, given what happened in Los Angeles." But the union representing 400 Los Angeles airport police officers and firefighters disagreed with the proposal, claiming it would take too long to
implement.

Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers  Association, said mandatory state standards require at least two years from job application to full qualification for law enforcement officers in California.

McClain said the number of airport police working at LAX has been reduced over the past three years.

"It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to create a new version of the TSA to do what our local law enforcement is already trying to do and has already done," McClain said.

Paul Ciancia, the 23-year-old man accused of shooting and killing the TSA officer, was shot four times by airport police. Ciancia was carrying a handwritten letter that said he was specifically
targeting TSA officers.

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