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    Guard to face no charges in fatal shooting

    He was defending himself when he fired at a car speeding toward him, killing a man, police say

    By Ryan Lillis - Bee Staff Writers

    Last Updated 7:04 pm PDT Friday, April 27, 2007
    Story appeared in METRO section, Page B4

    Print | E-Mail | Comments (72)

    A bullet hole is visible in the windshield of a car used by a suspect who police say tried to run down a security guard. The guard fired once, killing the driver. Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

    See additional images



    A private security guard who shot and killed a 19-year-old man in a Sacramento apartment complex parking lot Monday morning was acting in self-defense and will not be arrested, police said.

    The 19-year-old was killed after security guard Gregory Gass, 37, confronted him and two others as they broke into a car parked in the lot of a University Avenue apartment complex about 4 a.m., according to Sacramento Police Sgt. Matt Young.

    Gass approached the men to detain them until officers arrived after seeing them break into the car, police said.


    The three men got into a black Honda that was backed into a parking stall and the driver accelerated toward Gass, according to police.

    As he tried to get away from the car, Gass fired one round through the windshield, striking the driver. The suspect's car slammed into two cars parked in the lot.

    Gass was detained but later released, police said.

    The driver died a few hours later, Young said. His name has not yet been released.

    The two men with the driver -- George Cardenas and Patrick Goodman, both 19 -- were arrested on suspicion of burglary, Young said.

    The incident is the second this month in which an alleged car burglar has been shot when caught in the act. In both instances, authorities said the shooting was justified.

    Gass could not be reached for comment, but he is known by many tenants of the apartment complex and frequently escorts students to their apartments when they return late at night, said Charles Lash, assistant manager of the complex.

    "His heart is into security," said Bob Carr, a contractor who has done kitchen and bathroom repairs at the facility for more than a year and often sees Gass on the job. "He takes his job very seriously and knows all the rules by heart."

    Gass works for Wise Security, Lash said, and the complex has used the firm for about 2 1/2 years. Gass has patrolled the complex off and on for about two years, he said.

    Lash said the apartment complex does not require that its security guards be armed. The facility houses about 300 tenants, most of whom are students at nearby California State University, Sacramento, and it uses security "to make sure the students are safe," Lash said.

    From Jan. 1, 2006, to Feb. 28, police responded to 121 vehicle burglaries in the Campus Commons and Sierra Oaks neighborhoods surrounding the complex, according to Sacramento police crime data.

    In that same time, police responded to 60 auto thefts, 186 total burglaries, 68 larcenies and 14 robberies, figures show.

    Gass has a clean record with the state agency that regulates security guards and has held a security guard firearm permit with the state since 2005, said Kevin Flanagan, a spokesman for the Department of Consumer Affairs.

    Gass also had a security guard's license from 1994 to 2003 and a firearm permit with the state from 1995 to 2003 before receiving a new license two years ago, Flanagan said.

    Wise Security, which has been in business since 2002, has never been disciplined by the state's Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, the branch of Consumer Affairs that regulates security firms, Flanagan said. A telephone message left with the company was not returned.

    There are 8,323 security guards licensed in Sacramento County, Flanagan said. The security bureau -- which also regulates private investigators and alarm company operators -- has issued 1,270 firearm permits in the county, most for security guards, according to Flanagan.

    Security guards who wish to carry a firearm on the job must complete a 14-hour course that includes six hours on a firing range and also must have a clean criminal background. Guards must requalify for the weapons permit twice a year and must carry their weapons in plain view and only while on the job, Flanagan said.

    "By and large, (the weapons certification process) is pretty good," he said. "I would be surprised if there was some sort of a problem with a licensed security guard."

    The issue of deadly force has been a topic of conversation in Sacramento since a resident shot and wounded an alleged car burglar April 4.

    Sou Saechin originally was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in the shooting, but District Attorney Jan Scully later said he would not face charges because she needed his testimony against the suspects.

    (Last updated time reflects a change in the story's system settings; content is the same as it was when published 4/27/2007)
    About the writer:


    • The Bee's Ryan Lillis can be reached at (916) 321-1085 or [email protected]. Bee staff writer Phillip Reese and Bee researcher Sheila A. Kern contributed to this report.



    Crime scene investigators from the Sacramento Police Department examine a Honda Accord following Monday's fatal shooting of a 19-year-old suspected car burglar by a security guard at a University Avenue apartment complex. It was the second shooting this month of an alleged car burglar. Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench


    Last edited by bigdog; 05-10-2007, 12:58 PM.
    "Get yourself a shovel cause your in deep Sh*t"

  • #2
    I have always said that Security in an area with Residents should always be armed. This is exactly why.
    "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
    "The Curve" 1998

    Comment


    • #3
      Now comes the civil part. Officers who use a firearm are in for a difficult time even if the rulings are in their favor. This guard was already detained (cuffed?) an indication that you are guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of LE and the public. Who needs that kind of grief?
      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mr. Security
        Now comes the civil part. Officers who use a firearm are in for a difficult time even if the rulings are in their favor. This guard was already detained (cuffed?) an indication that you are guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of LE and the public. Who needs that kind of grief?
        Well, remember that they also put their own officers on administrative leave and conduct an investigation whenever there's a police shooting. I'm not sure this was even that intrusive. Of course he was detained, at least long enough to ascertain the circumstances of the shooting and to allow authorities higher up to make a decision about whether it was justified.

        Yes, if you fire your weapon - security officer or cop - in the line of duty, there IS going to be some kind of hoo-ha about it, but that's just to be expected (and I wouldn't want it any other way, frankly), and guess what...at least you're not dead! Now, THERE is some serious hoo-ha (it's called a "funeral").
        Last edited by SecTrainer; 05-09-2007, 10:36 PM.
        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SecTrainer
          Well, remember that they also put their own officers on administrative leave and conduct an investigation whenever there's a police shooting. I'm not sure this was even that intrusive. Of course he was detained, at least long enough to ascertain the circumstances of the shooting and to allow authorities higher up to make a decision about whether it was justified.

          Yes, if you fire your weapon - security officer or cop - in the line of duty, there IS going to be some kind of hoo-ha about it, but that's just to be expected (and I wouldn't want it any other way, frankly), and guess what...at least you're not dead! Now, THERE is some serious hoo-ha (it's called a "funeral").
          Also, to add that the media loves making certain details seem more than what they really are.
          "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SecTrainer
            Well, remember that they also put their own officers on administrative leave and conduct an investigation whenever there's a police shooting. I'm not sure this was even that intrusive. Of course he was detained, at least long enough to ascertain the circumstances of the shooting and to allow authorities higher up to make a decision about whether it was justified.

            Yes, if you fire your weapon - security officer or cop - in the line of duty, there IS going to be some kind of hoo-ha about it, but that's just to be expected (and I wouldn't want it any other way, frankly), and guess what...at least you're not dead! Now, THERE is some serious hoo-ha.
            Detention usually implies that it isn't voluntary, something that I find difficult to believe, based on this officer's positive history. In my area, a subject detained is cuffed. Perhaps that isn't the case where he is.

            He is not dead, that's for sure. Nevertheless, an officer who is not armed would not be in a position (if he follows safe procedure) to be run over in the first place. Granted, the suspects would not have been detained until the police responded. Hopefully they would catch up with them later.

            I don't want an armed/unarmed debate. I'm just saying that the legal implications are serious and possibly expensive for those in security who work armed. Does the wage offset the risk? Decide carefully.
            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

            Comment


            • #7
              an officer who is not armed would not be in a position (if he follows safe procedure) to be run over in the first place.
              I have to envoke Murphy's law here.
              "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr. Security
                I'm just saying that the legal implications are serious and possibly expensive for those in security who work armed. Does the wage offset the risk? Decide carefully.
                For me, yes.

                Here, it's a matter of working one armed position and spending nights and weekends at home, or working 2-3 unarmed jobs and never seeing my family. Armed guards here typically make $8-14 an hour more than unarmed.

                Damn the lawsuits, full speed ahead.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A police officer involved in a shooting is also detained by the responding police officers pursuant to their initial homicide investigation. Does this mean handcuffed? Probably not.

                  As far as the guard being handcuffed, most likely not, unless there's a media circus. Some agencies know that if they show favoritism to security guards by not handcuffing them while being a suspect of a crime, the media circus will go insane about preferential treatment.

                  Other agencies has a political agenda and make a big show out of arresting a guard who shot someone for the media, including doing things like holding the guard's gun belt up and making sure the cameras get footage of the guard in handcuffs outside of a police vehicle, so they can be easily identified.

                  Here's the reality: Clients pay for the protection of lives and property, not some guy who will cower while calling 911 and report the property destroyed/stolen or the lives lost. The state recongizes that is too great a burden to ask a person to do this job without a means to protect themselves and others from deadly force, indeed, it is exceedingly hard (neigh impossible) to protect someone from deadly force without using deadly force yourself.

                  Hence, why someone is armed boils down to that clients want it.
                  Some Kind of Commando Leader

                  "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mr. Security
                    Nevertheless, an officer who is not armed would not be in a position (if he follows safe procedure) to be run over in the first place. Granted, the suspects would not have been detained until the police responded. Hopefully they would catch up with them later.
                    So why would I hire this person in the first place? As N. A. Corbier already said, if I'm paying for serious protection of lives and property, I can expect any resident to not confront a criminal and call 911 from a safe distance. Why would I pay someone to not do anything and do exactly what every other unarmed citizen there would do?

                    Your logic is terribly faulty and doesn't even begin to formulate a reasonable argument against armed security. Neither is "Nevertheless, if you didn't own a car you would not be in a position to be in a traffic accident." a good argument against owning a vehicle.

                    Originally posted by Mr. Security
                    I don't want an armed/unarmed debate.
                    Unfortunately, you already began one.

                    Originally posted by Mr. Security
                    I'm just saying that the legal implications are serious and possibly expensive for those in security who work armed.
                    I think most people working armed are aware of this. They accept that so that they can do their job safely and efficiently.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here's the question I want asked more and more. Before you ever get a permit for carrying a firearm in security:

                      Are you prepared to shoot someone, who may die from your action, in the defense of your own life or that of someone you are being paid to protect?

                      In short: WE ARE GOING TO SEND YOU TO A SCHOOL TO BE A TRAINED KILLER. ARE YOU PREPARED TO KILL?

                      No means you don't get that extra dollar an hour. But I'd rather someone say NO than fail to do the job their paid to do, possibly getting themselves or the people who pay me money to send employees to protect them killed.
                      Some Kind of Commando Leader

                      "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                        Here's the question I want asked more and more. Before you ever get a permit for carrying a firearm in security:

                        Are you prepared to shoot someone, who may die from your action, in the defense of your own life or that of someone you are being paid to protect?

                        In short: WE ARE GOING TO SEND YOU TO A SCHOOL TO BE A TRAINED KILLER. ARE YOU PREPARED TO KILL?

                        No means you don't get that extra dollar an hour. But I'd rather someone say NO than fail to do the job their paid to do, possibly getting themselves or the people who pay me money to send employees to protect them killed.
                        That brings a thought to mind. A friend of mine quit his job, because in part of the company not allowing him to carry his gun. He felt it was unfair that others were allowed to, and he wasn't. Welp, he's back working for the company and is carrying his weapon. All I could do is shake my head, because that wouldn't fly in my outfit.
                        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          First off, Good job Gass, and good shot.

                          Secondly, from the decent report it would appear our brother in arms (sic) did his job and did it well. He utilized the tools of the job to do his job effectively.

                          I mean crap, he fired ONE round, 1, uno. One round, not one magazine. He did better than damn near every LEO involved shooting you hear about where the officer goes through 12-43 rounds and misses the target (badguy). So kudos to him.

                          As far as the repoted detainment, I am actually suprised that we are even discussing it. I mean, even saying "Don't go anywhere till we release you. We need your statement and for you to walk us through the scene." IS DETAINMENT. How many of us have had it hammered into our tiny skulls that you can unlawfully detain someone without placing them in cuffs, a car, etc.

                          Now then, onto the armed or unarmed argument. If you have ANY reservations about the taking of a humanlife I HIGHLY suggest you not go and get yorself armed, or go get on with a company that is armed because it is cool. Being armed typically places you, your parnter (if your lucky enough to have one) in higher risk environments. There is a REASON you have that firearm, you may use it to kill someone. I said kill, not stop the threat, as there very well could be a time that killing someone is the only way to stop the threat. My dad, a lifetime LEO, told me a loooong time ago; "Being armed only brings a gun into every situation." Unarmed newbies, those that haven't carried before-stop and think about that.

                          I strongly urge ALL to read or attend any conference by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman Especially his books On Killing, and On Combat. Along with anything else.

                          In closing the S/O stopped the threat, and saved his own bacon.

                          You guys with 24/7 LE presence are lucky. Try it without on a burg call.
                          Last edited by ValleyOne; 05-11-2007, 09:41 PM.
                          ~Super Ninja Sniper~
                          Corbier's Commandos

                          Nemo me impune lacessit

                          Grammical and Spelling errors may occur form time to time. Yoov bin worned

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For me, the money paid to be armed by no means justifies being armed especially when typicallly we make half of what pd makes. Moreover, its' a double edge sword...you can be liable for using your firearm and liable if you do not, depending on the facts involved. I

                            In terms of pd treatment after a shooting occurs, I personally believe it is hands down that pd gets way more favorable treatment than security does. I think there is a presumption of guilt if the shooter is security based on the lack of training known to exist in our industry. And its' not just the treatment during the investigation but afterwards as well....when was the last time you heard of a private employer providing counseling services to a security officer who shot someone. I once worked for an employer who had a policy that if the s/o was involved in a shooting, they would be suspended without pay no matter if the police deemed it a justified shooting and on top of that, the s/o would be subject to an internal investigation by the employer.

                            I understand the need to detain the security on the chance that it might be ruled as a bad shooting...I do not agree with handcuffing them as such sends a message, be it psychological or by public image, that the security officer is guilty before all the facts are taken into consideration.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LPGuy
                              So why would I hire this person in the first place? As N. A. Corbier already said, if I'm paying for serious protection of lives and property, I can expect any resident to not confront a criminal and call 911 from a safe distance. Why would I pay someone to not do anything and do exactly what every other unarmed citizen there would do?

                              Then don't. Others have and will continue to do so.

                              Originally posted by LPGuy
                              Your logic is terribly faulty and doesn't even begin to formulate a reasonable argument against armed security. Neither is "Nevertheless, if you didn't own a car you would not be in a position to be in a traffic accident." a good argument against owning a vehicle.
                              In your mind, perhaps. The car anology isn't mine and not one that I would use here anyway.

                              Originally posted by LPGuy
                              Unfortunately, you already began one.

                              Again, in your mind only.
                              Originally posted by LPGuy
                              I think most people working armed are aware of this. They accept that so that they can do their job safely and efficiently.

                              Apparently, you have accepted the risk. The rest of your statement assumes facts not in evidence.
                              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                              Comment

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