- Brian Ludmer, 29, was shot in the back of the right calf
- He recalls the gunman as "stern" and "cold"
- The bones below Ludmer's right knee were shattered by a bullet
- "It was bleeding and disfigured, and I was scared," he says
Brian Ludmer was running for his life, following other passengers trying to escape the gunshots being fired inside Terminal 3 of Los Angeles International Airport.
He heard another shot. Then his right leg gave out, collapsing underneath him.
"The first thing is I immediately tried to stand back up. That didn't work. Both the bones in my right calf had been shattered, and it was completely loose. I collapsed again, " Ludmer, 29, said by telephone Wednesday on CNN's "AC360."
"... I looked back and saw the gunman, and I didn't see anyone else. At that point, I expected that I might be shot again. So I knew I had to get away."
Bleeding badly, Ludmer began to crawl.
Snapshot of the gunman
It was 9:20 a.m. Friday inside the crowded terminal that services Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, Virgin America, Frontier Airlines and a number of other carriers.
Ludmer, who on his way to Chicago for a wedding, was on the second floor of the terminal, waiting for his turn to clear a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint when he heard the shots.
"At that point, I think we were all afraid, and people did their best to get away from where we heard the gunshots," he said. "I was just in with the crowd, running into the terminal."
Behind him, according to Los Angeles police authorities, 23-year-old Paul Ciancia had opened fire with a .223-caliber assault rifle, shooting and killing TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez "at point-blank range."
Ciancia then went up an escalator but returned to shoot Hernandez again, apparently after seeing him move, according to a court document filed by the FBI.
He continued walking and shooting. Witnesses said he went from person to person, asking, "Are you TSA?"
One of those bullets hit Ludmer in the back of the right calf. On the ground, he looked back and saw the gunman.
"I have a snapshot of him I remember: Stern," Ludmer said. "I don't know how to describe it. Cold, maybe."
But this much was clear to the teacher who worked at Calabasas High School: He had to move.
'Bleeding and disfigured'
Ludmer began to crawl, dragging his broken and bleeding right leg toward a nearby duty-free shop.
He crawled through the store, past the register and toward a door leading to a storage room.
"It was in there that I kind of grasped and took in for the first time what happened to my leg. It was bleeding and disfigured, and I was scared," Ludmer said.
"I knew I had to stem the blood flow, if I was going to survive."
Inside the room, he said, he saw a child's sweatshirt. He used it as a tourniquet, tying it as tightly as he could around the leg.
Then he waited.
Eventually, police found Ludmer as they were clearing the terminal, looking for a potential second gunman, he said.
Days later, Ludmer is still being treated for the gunshot wound. He said he's undergone a number of surgeries and procedures.
He's facing at least one more surgery, where doctors will place a metal rod in his leg, he said.
The good news, he says: He has full sensation and movement in his right foot.