The Southern California TSA officer who was shot and killed while on duty in LAX was the first to die in the line of duty. His wife says he took pride in his work and enjoyed meeting travelers from around the world every day on the job. He would have turned 40 years old next week. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.
The wife of a TSA agent killed in a rampage at LAX remembered her husband on Saturday as a “great man” who came to the U.S. as a teen, showed a deep love for his family and great pride in his work.
Ana Hernandez, the wife of Gerardo I. Hernandez, emerged briefly from her home where she was mourning the loss of her husband, who she married on Valentine's Day in 1998.
“He was always excited to go to work,” said Ana Hernandez, reading a statement in front of a crush of media outside her home in the San Fernando Valley community of Porter Ranch. “He was a joyful person who took pride in his duty for the American public.
“He was a wonderful husband, father, brother, son and friend.”
Gerardo Hernandez was killed when a gunman armed with an assault rifle shot his way past security at the Tom Bradley International Terminal on Friday morning. A 23-year-old suspected gunman was shot and wounded by airport police before being taken into custody. Four other people were also wounded.
Gerardo Hernandez was the youngest of four boys, born in El Salvador. He came to the country at age 15 and graduated from Los Angeles High School.
He met his wife in 1994 when he was 19 and she was 16, Ana Hernandez said. He was the father of two children.
The TSA employee for three years would have turned 40 next week.
“I’m truly devastated,” his wife said. “We are all heartbroken. We will miss him dearly.”
John Pistole, the TSA administrator, paid a visit to Ana Hernandez’s home to express his condolences and offer support. Hernandez is the first TSA agent killed in the line of duty.
He said he had visited his agents at LAX to offer support and tell them that he and law enforcement were working to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
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