Week ahead: Lawmakers to review LAX shooting

Lawmakers will return their focus to he shooting that occurred at the Los Angeles International Airport last fall when they travel to the airport to conduct a field hearing this week.

Officials with the House Homeland Security Committee said the panel will hold a hearing at the Los Angeles airport on Friday that will be titled "Lessons from the LAX Shooting: Preparing for and Responding to Emergencies at Airports."

The hearing follows the release of a critical report by the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) reviewing the circumstances that surrounded the Nov. 1 shooting, which resulted in the first death of an on-duty Transportation Security Administration (TSA) since the agency’s inception in 2002.


The report found that there were gaps in communication between emergency responders that could have resulted in more damage if the shooting spree had continued.

Homeland Security Committee officials said the field hearing Friday will allow members of the panel to review the findings of Los Angeles airport authority and lawmakers' own reviews with TSA Administrator John Pistole and officials from the LAWA agency.

“Last November, a shooter entered LAX and senselessly took the life of TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez and injured three other individuals," Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said in a statement.

"The immediate actions of TSA and law enforcement to pursue the shooter undoubtedly saved lives, however it has been discovered since the incident that some procedures could be improved in order to ensure TSA can communicate with local and airport police more efficiently," McCaul continued. "It is important that we review how airport security can better coordinate and respond to an emergency, and I look forwarding to hearing from TSA Administrator Pistole and the LA World Airport police regarding their investigations into this tragic event.”

Pistole is scheduled to be joined at the House hearing by LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey and Los Angeles International Airport Chief of Police Patrick Gannon.

Additionally this week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure is scheduled to hold a hearing on Wednesday about President Obama's request for the U.S. Coast Guard and other maritime transportation programs for the 2015 fiscal year.

The search for Malaysia Airlines' missing Flight 370 will also continue as the quest to find the whereabouts of the jetliner enters its third week.