LOS ANGELES – Friends and family remembered slain Transportation Security Administration officer Gerardo I. Hernandez as a family man who constantly smiled at travelers passing through the Los Angeles airport.
“He was always excited to go to work and enjoyed the interactions with the passengers at LAX,” said his wife, Ana. “He was a joyful person, always smiling. He took pride in his duty for the American public and for the TSA mission.”
“Gerardo was a great man who always showed his love for our family. He was always there to help anyone in need and always made people laugh with his wonderful sense of humor,” she said.
Hernandez was the first TSA official in the agency’s 12-year history to be killed in the line of duty. His 40th birthday is next week.
Born in El Salvador, Hernandez was the youngest of four boys. He moved to the United States when he was 15. Four years later, he met his future wife and they married on Valentine’s Day in 1998.
Friend and former TSA co-worker Kevin Maxwell said, “All he talked about was his family. He was very proud of his son, who played football.”
Neighbor Ken Wong said: “Here’s a man who was trying to serve his country, do his job well and support his family, and this is a senseless thing that happened.”