TSA Officer Wounded in LAX Shooting ‘Came to Protect People’
(LOS ANGELES) — A Transportation Security Administration officer who was wounded in the deadly shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport said he was more interested in helping others than worrying about his safety.
Tony Grigsby, 36, was shot twice in the right foot during Friday’s attack, and on Monday he fought back tears outside his Los Angeles home as he recounted the moment he came face-to-face with the gunman.
“I was injured while helping an elder man trying to get to a safe area. I turned around, and there was a gun and he shot me twice,” Grigsby said.
Grigsby, who has worked for the TSA for the last six years, said all he could think about was helping panicked passengers get to safety, despite his injuries.
“All I could think about was helping them. I may be injured right now, but the concern was really to take care of you,” he said. “I’m just a regular person. I’m not here for no fame or glory. I came to protect people.”
Grigsby remembered fellow TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez, who was killed in the shooting.
“Only now it has hit me that I will never see him again,” Grigsby said.
Grigsby, a behavioral detection officer, called Hernandez a wonderful person who will be missed and said he’s thankful to be alive.
The alleged gunman, 23-year-old Paul Ciancia, remains hospitalized, unconscious and unable to talk because of several bullet wounds, according to documents filed by a federal public defender’s office Monday.
Ciancia’s family had an attorney give a brief statement to reporters Monday near their family home in Pennsville, N.J., during which attorney John Jordan said the family was “shocked and numbed” by what their son did.
“No indication of anything of this nature. He was just a great kid,” family friend Alan Levitsky told ABC News.
The FBI believes Ciancia was targeting TSA officers, but they’re unsure of his motive at this point.
“We have to get a full understanding of the person who we now have in custody to understand what his motives might have been,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.
The shooter’s duffel bag contained a handwritten letter signed by Ciancia stating he’d “made the conscious decision to try to kill” multiple TSA employees and that he wanted to “instill fear in their traitorous minds,” the FBI said earlier this week.
Ciancia is also accused of wounding 54-year-old TSA employee James Speer and a high school teacher named Brian Ludmer.
Ludmer remained hospitalized Monday, but his condition was upgraded from fair to good.
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