Monday, November 4, 2013

We're back!

Yes Dragnet fans, we've been in hibernation for some time while we took a reflective look at where the Dragnet has been and where we should go in the Post-Trutanich world.

Judging by the following the Dragnet enjoyed, our readers come from all across the political spectrum but have a few things in common - a hatred for phony political parvenus and other scumbags, a respect for unsung heroes who quietly, selflessly and effectively get on with the job, and a desire to see and help good people enter leadership positions in our community. With that in mind, the Dragnet will drag on and offer updates on the things you need to know.

The Face of The LAX Shooter Murderer
Murderer Paul Anthony Ciancia
(credit: FBI)

File this one in the 'other scumbags' category.

On Friday, November 1, 2013, 23 year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia murdered TSA Agent Gerardo Hernandez at a document checkpoint inside Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport.

Ciancia also shot and wounded two other TSA Agents and a passenger, causing the shutdown of the Airport for most of the day.

Ciancia's murderous mayhem was swiftly brought to a halt by the brave actions of Los Angeles Airport Police Officers, who shoot and wounded the crazed gunman before he could kill anyone else.

According to the LA Times, Ciancia shot TSA Agent Hernandez at point blank range and then proceeded up an escalator in search of new targets. Witnesses say that as Ciancia rode up the escalator he turned around and noticed Hernandez still moving. Chillingly, Ciancia then went back to Hernandez and shoot him again, this time killing him.

If you want to see what Ciancia looked like after the Airport Police stopped him, click here, but be warned, this is a very graphic image. Credit for the photo of Ciancia laying wounded on the floor of LAX Terminal 3 goes to KFI's Gary Hoffman, who Tweeted the image @garhof.

R.I.P. TSA Agent Gerardo I. Hernandez - "a very nice man"

Slain TSA Agent Gerardo I. Hernandez
(credit: Luis Sinco LA Times)

TSA Agent Gerardo I. Hernandez was "always there to help anyone in need," his wife Ana Hernandez told the LA Times a day after the shooting.

"We are hurting," she said. "I am truly devastated." Flanked by TSA Administrator John Pistole, Ana Hernandez said her husband was "always excited to go to work."

The youngest of four siblings, she said, Gerardo moved to the United States from El Salvador at age 15 and graduated from Los Angeles High School.

Ana Hernandez said she was 16 and he was 19 when the couple met. They married in 1998 on Valentine’s Day.

"It's devastating because he was such a great guy," one of Hernandez's friends, Kevin Maxwell, told KNBC. Maxwell said Hernandez was the "very proud" father of a boy and a girl.

One neighbor, who declined to give his name, said Hernandez once paid him a visit after the neighbor's home was burglarized. He offered help and gave tips on installing security and surveillance. Hernandez's home was burglarized soon after.

"He was a very nice man," the neighbor said. Another neighbor said Hernandez would chat -- and sometimes commiserate -- about being government employees. It was rough, Hernandez would say, getting up early enough to be at his post at the airport by 3 a.m.

Doctors at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center said that when Hernandez arrived, it was evident there was no chance of survival. A round of shots broke into fragments inside his torso and caused chest injuries and debilitating internal bleeding. "We made every effort to stop the bleeding and get the heart to beat on its own," Dr. David Plurad told NBC News.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Gerardo's wife and children.

Fallen Soldier on My Delta Flight

Blogger Johnny 'Jet' DiScala, The Travel Insider, thought his flight on Delta 2255 from Atlanta to LAX to be 'ordinary' until an announcement from the aircrew thanking a number of uniformed soldiers on-board for serving our country. 45 minutes before landing, the captain came on the PA and told passengers that they were transporting a fallen soldier.

According to DiScala, "The plane went quiet as he explained that there was a military escort on-board and asked that everyone remain seated for a couple of minutes so the soldiers could get off first. He also warned us not to be alarmed if we see fire trucks since Los Angeles greets their fallen military with a water canon salute."

"A few minutes after touchdown, we did indeed have a water canon salute, which I’d previously only experienced on happy occasions like inaugural flights. This time, the water glistening on the windowpanes looked like tears." 

DiScala: "The water glistening on the windowpanes looked like tears."

"Passengers in the airport must have been worried when they saw our plane pull into gate 69A, as we had a full police and fire escort, front and back." 

DiScala posted this video of the arrival of his flight on YouTube:

Saturday, November 2, 2013 DiScala, a frequent guest on Tech Guy Leo Laporte's weekend radio show, was choked to tears as he related the what he described his "most memorable flight," witnessing a fallen soldier being returned to his hometown.

DiScala described how the Honor Guard for fallen soldiers came about thanks to a baggage handler at NorthWest Airlines who "got tired of treating fallen soldiers like baggage" and organized an Honor Guard to pay respect to our fallen soldiers.

The saddest moment, DiScala said, was watching the casket draped in the Stars and Stripes being unloaded. "It only got more emotional when I deplaned. There was a large number of passengers, who are normally in a hurry to get home or make a connection, standing by the window to witness something truly moving."

"To see the Honor Guard and family waiting patiently, while LAX baggage handlers and a military loadmaster remove the flag covered casket first from the cargo hold, was humbling to say the least."

"I’m not sure if it was the fallen soldier’s mother or wife who I watched slowly walk up to the coffin while a few other family members, wrapped in blankets, stood near with a dozen or so of the Honor Guards standing in salute."

"As soon as I saw her reach out to put her hand on her baby’s casket, I walked away. This ordinary flight became extraordinary and is one that I will never forget."

Thanks, Johnny, for reminding us of those in our military who pay the ultimate price for our liberty.

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