Oklahoma Security Guards Allowed To Carry Guns
TULSA, Oklahoma - A 21-year-old man is recovering after police say a security guard shot him in the neck at an apartment complex Wednesday night.
The complex near 88th and Delaware employs security guards to keep the property safe, but some people have been questioning why the guard had a gun.
Security guards in Oklahoma have five levels of training and education where they can be licensed unarmed guards or licensed armed guards.
Shots fired at the Deerfield Estates left one man seriously injured.
Police said the trigger was pulled by an apartment complex security guard.
2/4/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Police: Security Guard Shoots Man Who Tried To Run Him Down
The guard told police the man hit him with his car and that's when the CLEET-certified guard fired his gun.
Which begs the question, how far can security guards go?
Mark American Horse is a criminal justice instructor with Central Tech in Sapulpa and said the level of training is just one difference between working security and being in law enforcement.
"The difference is, you may enforce the law, a police officer shall enforce the law. They don't have an opportunity to walk away, so if they see a crime they can't just turn their back and walk away, they're compelled by statute to enforce the law," he said.
Meaning security personnel have a choice whether to get involved in a dangerous situation.
Estaline Palmore has owned her own security company since 1982 and also teaches security at Central Tech.
She said, in all her years as a guard, she only used her weapon once.
"It was a guy trying to run me off the road and on the third count I decided I didn't like that anymore so I took my weapon out and I aimed it at him and I shot and the bullet went into his pick up and he left," Palmore said.
She said a security guard's best weapon is communication.
"You have to be able to talk to them, and you may stand there for quite a while and try to talk them out of a situation," she said.
Like anyone, when talking doesn't work and a security guard fears for their life, they have every right to shoot.
“Not because you can, but because you have to. That's really the question that they have to ask themselves. You know you have to live with what you've done, right or wrong, so it should always be the last resort," American Horse said.
Police said the guard involved in last night's shooting was questioned and released.
As of right now the shooting is still under investigation. Detectives are asking for anyone who saw what happened to call police.