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Security guard shot and killed at truck stop

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  • Security guard shot and killed at truck stop

    Security guard shot and killed at truck stop
    December 26th, 2007 @ 10:00pm
    Gene Kennedy and Paul Nelson reporting

    A man shot a security guard to death at a Salt Lake City truck stop, possibly over a stolen pack of gum.

    Police say the shooter is a frequent customer at Sapp Brothers truck stop. Investigators say he started using foul language at the cashiers, then stole a pack of gum. When a security guard started to escort him out of the business, police say the man pulled a gun on the guard and shot him to death.

    The security guard was Vern Walter Jenkins, according to police. He was 31 years old. And police say the customer who shot him actually sat down next to him and watched him bleed while waiting for police to arrive.

    When paramedics wheeled the stretcher out of the Sapps Brothers truck stop, it was empty.

    Salt Lake City police detective Jared Wihongi said, "We're not 100 percent what the motive was in this shooting, that the security guard who is the victim, regarding a possible theft."

    The motive was possibly a stolen pack of gum, according to a police officer KSL spoke with Wednesday night. Witnesses told police that 51-year-old Roger Malcolm started mouthing off to employees at the Burger King restaurant, saying they weren't serving him fast enough. Then when security guard Vern Jenkins tried to escort Malcolm out of the business, Malcolm pulled a gun and started firing at the security guard.

    Trucker Dave Kilgrow said, "A guy told me after he shot him, he sat down and waited for the cops to get here."

    Kilgrow wasn't inside the business when the gun shots rang out, but police confirm his story. They say Malcolm sat next to the bleeding security guard, waiting for police.

    Detective Wihongi said, "He was cooperative to the point that he was taken into custody. At the point where he was taken into custody he's become less cooperative."

    Malcolm was cursing at officers, according to what police said tonight.

    While officers wrapped the truck stop in crime tape, we heard more about the security guards who watch over this business. Kilgrow said, "They're always walking around the parking lot making sure there's not something going on that's not supposed to be going on."

    It's a job that cost a young man his life and put another man behind bars, possibly over a stolen pack of gum.

    We're not sure if the security guard was armed. We're still waiting to hear from police on that, but there are comments on from people claiming to have been security guards here, and they were not allowed to carry a firearm.

    The Sapp Brothers truck stop remains closed while police investigate this crime scene and interview witnesses. Police say there are about 30 people who claim they heard or saw the incident
    Its not how we die that counts.....
    Its not how we lived that counts....
    all that matters is how we saved that one life that one time by being in the right place at the right time....

  • #2
    This one is too close to home for me, but maybe it will wake up some of these clients that think unarmed guards are more of a liabilty then armed guards, as it appears from people that know the guy according to some of the comments he was unarmed......
    Its not how we die that counts.....
    Its not how we lived that counts....
    all that matters is how we saved that one life that one time by being in the right place at the right time....


    • #3
      A sad story. My heart goes out to the slain guard's family.

      You do have to hope that this will get the guard's company, and the client on a fast track to arming the guards, but do you really think that would happen. I don't.

      I don't think that the guard company will do ANYTHING, even offering any extra defensive equipment, like a bullet resistant vest. That would cost money, and lower profits, which means the executives with the company might not get a good bonus this year, and we can't have that.

      After all, they are surely covered by insurance for a little mess like that, right?


      • #4
        I think that often the problem with guards not having defensive equipment is due to the client. The company can't pull the money for the equipment/training out of thin air, so they'd have to charge the client more. The client, however, likely isn't willing to pay the extra money, and if the company remains firm in its stance would likely seek out another company (and there would be other companies) who would be willing to send an unarmed guard.


        • #5
          I feel horrible about the situation and the fact that the officer lost his life. I will most definately pray for his family.

          Although the entire story hasn't come out yet, nor am I questioning this officer's reasons or actions. I personally would not have attempted to stop (nor would I ask my employees to do so) and confront this subject-armed or not, for a 30 cent pack of chewing gum. (if that is indeed what he went after this guy for). Once the subject was out of the store, watch him from a distance, get a good description, and report it to law enforcement.

          The bottom line is, people no longer care about human life (as is evident in this story). Please everyone stay safe, stay alert, know when to pick your battles, and the most important thing is; make sure you go home at the end of your shift.


          • #6
            One thing this illustrates is that the danger is not always related to the severity of the infraction. We tend to associate being shot or assaulted with people who are committing serious crimes and would be facing serious prison terms if captured.

            This shooter was stealing a pack of gum, so what was this about? Maybe he had some warrants somewhere? Maybe he had just committed a serious crime somewhere else?

            Either way - crazy people who will shoot you over nothing, or people who have something else they are hiding or running from - you can never treat any contact with the public as being free of risks.
            "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