The Red Cross, the Salvation Army and a neighborhood medical clinic catered to the needs of some of the injured as well as travelers stranded outside Los Angeles International Airport on Friday after a lone gunman’s attack on transportation security agents brought air traffic to a standstill.
The Reliant-LAX Airport Medical Clinic treated a security agent with some surface metal fragment wounds -- presumably from a gunshot --to his lower leg, as well as several passengers, said clinic director Dr. Max Lebow.
One of the passengers, an older man who did not leave his name, told clinic workers that the suspect pointed a gun at his face and asked him if he was a TSA agent, Lebow said. When he told him he was not, he said the gunman moved on and shot someone else, he said.
The clinic also treated three people who were injured fleeing the scene — one with a sprained leg, one with a sprained back and one suffering from low blood sugar, he said.
Many passengers in need of medications were stranded without their bags, Lebow said.
As the day wore on, the clinic’s role shifted from medical triage to disaster relief as thousands of passengers milled about outside the airport.
Clinic workers took carts and wheelchairs down the street to the Ralphs supermarket to stock up on water and snacks. Then they set up a long table outside “that looks like a giant lemonade stand” and handed it all out, Lebow said.
"Thank you so much," said one woman who grabbed a cup of water as she hurried by, towing a bag behind her.
The clinic invited older and disabled passengers to rest inside in the waiting room, and other passengers spread out on the grass outside.
The Red Cross assisted the clinic’s efforts, and the Salvation Army Inglewood Corps parked a relief truck nearby at the corner of Century and Sepulveda boulevards.
"What concerned us is stranded passengers needing water and snacks and stuff they can get inside," said Christopher Golden, the Inglewood Corps administrator, motioning toward the shuttered airport.
Some passengers were so grateful they left donations. And, just when the truck ran out of water, the fire department came to the rescue, bringing a fresh supply.