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Garcetti set to unveil critique of emergency response to LAX shooting

Mayor Eric Garcetti is set to reveal on Tuesday the findings of a new report that critiques the response of public safety agencies and airport officials to November's deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport.

At an 11 a.m. news conference, Garcetti will discuss the after-action report that examines the Nov. 1 attack, which resulted in the first death of a Transportation Security Administration official in the line of duty.

Immediately after the news conference, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, which sets policy for LAX, LA/Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport, is scheduled to discuss the review during a special meeting.

Some information and findings will remain confidential for security reasons, officials said. National consultants Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. performed the study.

In the attack, a gunman identified by authorities as Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, carried a concealed assault-style rifle though the lobby of Terminal 3, removed it from a bag and began shooting near a stairway below a TSA passenger screening area.

After fatally wounding a TSA official who was checking IDs and airline tickets, the gunman proceeded up the stairs and through the checkpoint in a hunt for more TSA personnel.

Two other federal screeners and a schoolteacher were wounded.

Authorities said Ciancia continued along a corridor of shops before he was shot and captured by airport police near a circular area of passenger boarding gates. Ciancia, 23, has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on 11 federal counts, including murder and attempted murder.

The incident has raised a number of issues related to security at LAX and the emergency management of thousands of passengers and workers who were in the terminals at the time.

Months before the shooting, police officers -- armed with pistols and equipped with radios -- were removed from guarding passenger checkpoints and put on patrol around the airport. The shift ended a policy that had been in place since 9/11.

An emergency telephone at the checkpoint where the gunman passed through was not working properly and questions were raised about the adequacy of police communications as well as the length of time it took paramedics to reach shooting victims.

People caught up in the chaotic evacuation complained about a lack of information, limited access to food and water, improperly marked emergency exits and being stranded at the airport for many hours.

Since the shooting, airport officials say they have been improving their emergency management procedures, including better training for staff, a special team of 300 airport workers to help passengers, more assistance for the disabled and enhanced communications.

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dan.weikel@latimes.com  

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