Hoaxes & Rumors

Rebuttal: LAX Shooting Dummy in a Wheelchair

Rebuttal: LAX Shooting Dummy in a Wheelchair

Several videos online claim that a dummy can be clearly seen at the LAX shooting, which is “proof” that the event was staged.

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In the video, airport police are seen wheeling a pale, lifeless figure to a group of waiting ambulances. The visual appearance of the figure in the wheelchair has led some to claim that this is “proof” that the LAX shooting was a hoax, and that the body in the wheelchair is simply a CPR or crash test dummy.

Rebuttal to claims that a dummy was seen at the LAX shooting

Below are rebuttal points to some of the claims being made regarding the “LAX Dummy” video:

  • Dummy vs actor: If large numbers of people were involved in such a hoax, it would seem easier to simply have one of these “crisis actors” don a TSA shirt and pretend to be lifeless.
  • Wheelchair vs stretcher: It has been suggested that EMS workers should have used a stretcher instead of a wheelchair. It isn’t unreasonable, however, to consider that in an emergency that those on the scene didn’t want to waste time for a stretcher to be brought in, knowing that ambulances were nearby. Wheelchairs are readily available in airports, and it was likely decided to rush the victim to the ambulances rather than waiting for a stretcher. LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon stated that airport police wheeled the victim to the ambulances when they arrived.
  • Video of others in wheelchairs: Video shot around the same time clearly shows other victims in wheelchairs, yet their appearances have not been questioned. Why would they use a dummy in one wheelchair and a live person in several others?
  • Color: The victim is clearly lighter in skin tone than those around him. It is not unusual, however, for an unconscious person in shock to appear pale.
  • Feet dragging: Some have pointed out that the feet can be seen dragging to the sides of the wheelchair, which may be indicative that this is a dummy. An unconscious man quickly put into a wheelchair would similarly be unable to keep his feet from dragging.
  • Shirt still on: It has been stated that a man who has been shot in the chest should have his shirt removed in order to administer chest wound procedures. Unedited video shows that emergency workers immediately remove the man’s shirt when he arrives at the ambulance. The airport police who attempted first aid were not EMS workers.

Video

Most videos which claim that this is a dummy end when the wheelchair arrives at the ambulances. If you watch video which continues past this point, you can see that emergency workers immediately remove the man’s shirt, place him on a gurney, and load him into an ambulance. The man’s torso does not look like a dummy, and even the movement of his skin as he is loaded into the back of the ambulance.

other-wheelchair2

Other victims were taken by wheelchair to awaiting ambulances.

An unconscious man in shock can appear pale and lifeless like a CPR dummy.

An unconscious man in shock can appear pale and lifeless like a CPR dummy.

Identity

Three TSA workers were injured in the shooting: Geraldo Hernandez, who was killed, along with James Speer and Tony Grigsby. It is likely that Hernandez was the victim seen in the wheelchair. LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon stated that airport officers attempted first aid until paramedics arrived, and then wheeled the victim to the ambulances.

If dozens of "crisis actors" wearing TSA shirts were on hand, it would be more convincing to have one of them in the wheelchair than a dummy.

If dozens of “crisis actors” wearing TSA shirts were on hand, it would be more convincing to have one of them in the wheelchair than a dummy.

Conclusion

While a pale, lifeless body in a wheelchair can resemble a pale, lifeless CPR or crash dummy, the only “evidence” that a dummy was used is merely a visual similarity which occurs in a low-quality video. High-resolution video or photos will probably be the only evidence sufficient to refute claims that the victim in the wheelchair was in fact a human, and not a dummy. There does not seem to be a good reason why a dummy would be used if dozens of “crisis actors” in TSA uniforms were on hand to simply pretend to be victims.

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