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Atty. Gen. Eric Holder to speak at memorial for slain TSA agent

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 9:54 a.m. CST

LOS ANGELES (MCT) — Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and other federal officials are slated to appear Tuesday at a public memorial for the TSA agent slain in a shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport.

The 10 a.m. ceremony at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena comes 11 days after a gunman opened fire at the nation's third-busiest airport, killing one TSA agent and wounding three other people. Gerardo I. Hernandez, a 39-year-old father of two, became the first Transportation Security Administration worker killed in the line of duty.

Holder is slated to speak at the memorial, along with Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers, TSA Administrator John Pistole and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Other federal, state and local officials were expected to be in attendance.

Those who knew Hernandez called him a "great guy" and a "very proud" father. His wife, Ana, told reporters her husband was "always there to help anyone in need."

"We are hurting," she said. "I am truly devastated."

Hernandez was also honored Friday as airport workers across the country held a moment of silence at 9:20 a.m. — the one-week mark of the shooting.

Authorities allege Anthony Paul Ciancia, 23, targeted TSA workers when he opened fire on the morning of Nov. 1, writing in a signed note that he wanted to kill TSA agents and "instill fear in their traitorous minds." Witnesses said he asked if they were TSA agents as he moved through the airport's Terminal 3. Ciancia was wounded in a gun battle with airport police and was taken into custody about 10 minutes after he first opened fire, authorities said. He remained in critical condition Monday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Ciancia has been charged with the murder of a federal officer and the commission of violence at an airport.

(c)2013 Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services

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