Fri | Sep 21, 2018

‘Crazy’ attack - FLA says man shot was wrong attempting to disarm firearm holder

Published:Wednesday | July 4, 2018 | 12:12 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
John P. Azar

“Something crazy” is how Cleveland Crooks, director of compliance and enforcement at the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA), has described the actions of a security guard who on Monday was shot and injured while trying to disarm a licensed firearm holder.

Crooks determined from preliminary investigations that the guard was wrong and pointed out that other security personnel from KingAlarm who eventually took the firearm away from the man appeared to physically abuse him. The guard who was shot was not affiliated with KingAlarm.

“Videos have been circulating on social media. I saw a gentleman in a suit standing in what seems to be an apartment complex. He was approached by another man who attacked him and seemed to be trying [to pull his concealed firearm] from his waistband. However, he held on safely to his firearm, but while they were on the ground struggling, a shot was fired,” recounted Crooks.

“In a case like this, his life was threatened. He is a licensed firearm holder, attacked from behind. As a firearm holder, there is an important thing called retention of firearm. No one should attack an individual like that. The attacker did something crazy,” Crooks declared yesterday.

He continued: “From what I have seen, the other security personnel acted out of the scope of their responsibility. They should have calmed the situation, then called the police. What I saw was a gentleman being forced to the ground, being clearly abused and his gun taken away.”

The FLA said that it would continue interviewing persons who may be able to help with the investigation.

Dahlia Garrick, acting superintendent of police in charge of the Corporate Communications Unit, told The Gleaner yesterday that investigations were ongoing into the matter. However, the police were not yet sure if charges would be laid against anyone.

“This is being investigated, but it is too early to give a comprehensive report. Statements are being collected, but given the number of players in the incident, we have to get all sides of the story,” she said.

The armed guards accused of assaulting and disarming the man are employees of the KingAlarm security company.

Managing Director of KingAlarm John Azar issued a statement yesterday explaining that the personnel representing his company who were seen in the video had been removed from active duty.

“Without benefit of a thorough investigation into what transpired, I have seen enough on social media to cause me concern, relating to the actions of some individuals at the scene. As such, all KingAlarm personnel who were present have been pulled from duty, pending the outcome of investigations by ourselves, the police and other authorities,” said Azar.

“I have personally reached out to the firearm holder in the video and expressed my concerns directly to him. Wherever our personnel are found to have acted in contravention of the law, or inconsistent with their training, or in violation of human rights, there are serious and severe consequences,” he said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com