Escape from LAX gunman recounted
By The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 10:33 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — A teacher said on Tuesday that he crawled to escape a gunman at Los Angeles International Airport and used a sweatshirt as a tourniquet when his leg was shattered during last week's deadly shooting.
“I didn't know what his intention was,” Brian Ludmer said from his hospital bed. “I only saw me and him. ... I was in total panic.”
Ludmer, 29, said he was heading to his hometown of Chicago to attend a wedding when gunshots erupted on Friday on a floor below him as he waited in a long, snaking line at a Terminal 3 security checkpoint.
“It was hard to know what was going on, where the shots were coming from,” he said.
Downstairs, Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo I. Hernandez was killed, and the gunman was trying to shoot other TSA workers.
Ludmer recalled that he and other travelers pushed through metal detectors upon hearing shots, scattering into the terminal and down ramps into bathrooms, shops and stores, even onto airplanes — anywhere to get away from the gunman.As Ludmer ran, a bullet hit him in the calf.
“My leg collapsed. It just instantly wouldn't support me,” he said. “Below the bullet wound, my leg was just hanging.”
He looked back and saw the gunman alone in the terminal hallway. Ludmer collapsed against a wall and started crawling for his life on all fours. He found a shop, scrambled into a storage room and shut the door. He found a sweatshirt and tied it around his leg to reduce the bleeding.
Ludmer was terrified that he would pass out and bleed to death or the gunman would follow and finish him off.
Soon, he heard voices, dragged himself to the door and peeked out. A wave of relief swept over him when he realized police officers were clearing the terminal.
Two officers told him they would get him out safely — but not quite yet, because the gunman might still be on the loose. Ludmer said his leg was bleeding, and he needed a paramedic. The officers helped him into a wheelchair and dashed through the terminal.
They didn't know that airport police had actually shot and wounded the suspect, Paul Ciancia, within minutes of the attack.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Deal reached in Ukraine crisis talks, but U.S. remains wary of Russia’s end game
- Imam’s influence detailed as NYC terror trial begins
- Court upholds EPA emissions restrictions
- Oregon reservoir to be flushed because of urinating teen
- Clinton donor pleads guilty in illegal campaign contributions
- Husband accused in slaying ate pot candy, police say
- Scientists achieve cloning advance for use in treating diseases
- National Portrait Gallery features abstract expressionism of familiar faces
- Obamacare estimates beaten by 1M
- Another arrest made in abduction of N.C. prosecutor’s father
- Reid calls Nevada rancher’s supporters ‘terrorists’ over armed confrontation