TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Escape from LAX gunman recounted

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Senate Dems get 34th vote to hand Obama victory on Iran deal
  2. West Point law professor resigns amid remarks that critics of war on terror are ‘treasonous’
  3. Outrage greets wildlife officials’ plan to kill bear cub that approached hiker in Connecticut
  4. Ancient giant sea scorpion turns up
  5. More Hillary emails have parts blocked, ruled classified
  6. CIA joins special ops in secret terrorist hunt in Syria
  7. Defense Secretary Carter was closing Guantanamo prison being considered, ceding base to Cuba isn’t
  8. Ky. clerk defies courts on gay marriage
  9. 3 strikes convict freed in Mo.
  10. Obama marks Hurricane Katrina anniversary in New Orleans visit
  11. Thousands in New Orleans became targets of unscrupulous contractors