Security Company Sued In Las Vegas Over Death Involving Guard

LawsuitThe Las Vegas Review-Journal, FOX TV 5 & most all other local media reported 05-07-19, the Las Vegas branch of a national security company is facing a wrongful death lawsuit after a resident died at the hands of guards employed by the company. The lawsuit stems from the January 2017 death of a 57-year-old woman who was working at a Henderson jewelry store when a security officer fired on an attempted robber but missed. Unfortunately, his bullet struck a female employee in the chest.

Records identify the shooter as an officer who was hired in 2015 according to records from the Nevada Private Investigators Board. He has been licensed since 2007.

An attorney who represents her estate said “We are taking a close look at the training of the officer that shot and killed (his client), by mistake. There is absolutely no allegation at all that this was intentional. It was a sad accident.

But what we’re focused on is did his company properly train him, had he carried a gun, was he familiar with the gun he used when he shot her.”

The officer is still a licensed security guard, and state records still list him as an employee but unarmed. That change was not a result of disciplinary action because there is none in his file. It appears that for unknown reasons, his firearm certification lapsed and he did not requalify, so he is no longer qualified to carry a firearm.

Attorneys on all sides did not respond to requests for comment.

The case is tentatively scheduled to go to trial in 2020 in Clark County, Nevada, District Court.

Comments:

The “catch-all” lawsuit in police, security and CCW shootings are always the failure to train issue. A large portion of my expert witness cases are these types of litigation. Competent firearm trainers always emphasize “watch the background” when teaching.

It’s easy to say “shooters must watch the background” in training or in court. However, in the real-life dynamic motion and speed of a gunfight, it all but impossible to clear the background efficiently.

It’s even harder to avoid having rounds miss the opponent (or pass through him) and hit someone in the background. Fired projectiles also occasionally ricochet into a bystander.

Only professionals with years of continued practice (think SEAL teams, SWAT Officers and Secret Service Agents) can make accurate shots in the midst of a real gunfight, particularly with handguns.

Conversely, we often see in reports wherein the victim was hit in the head when realistic evaluation indicates the shot was a lucky (or unlucky) hit but not intentionally aimed at the head.

So, the issue becomes how much actual live fire training should be realistically required to carry a firearm? Police agencies seem to hover around 50 hours and armed security companies for about 24 hours. These range training hours are in addition to the classroom training in use of force and de-escalation methods.

With CCW holders or armed civilians in constitutional carry areas, the regulation writers run into that pesky Second Amendment. The anti-2A side in D.C. is about to push that issue into the courts.

Bob Irwin, Las Vegas

About Bob Irwin

Bob is retired after 30 years of ownership of The Gun Store & Indoor Range in Las Vegas. He continues his 2A issues show “Fired Up with Bob Irwin” on YouTube and on KLEY 1230 AM, The Nevada Talk Network on Saturdays.

As a firearm instructor of Concealed Firearm Applicants, Armed Security Officer and Law Enforcement Academies over his career, Bob appears frequently as an expert witness for firearm & use of force cases in Federal, State, and local courts.

%d bloggers like this: