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Another Unarmed Guard Killed

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by big44, Aug 20, 2006.

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  1. big44

    big44 Member

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    What good do unarmed security guards really do?


    Security guard killed, manhunt under way in Blacksburg

    Police are searching for an escaped Montgomery County Jail inmate after a fatal shooting early this morning at the Montgomery Regional Hospital.
    By Amy L. Kovac

    BLACKSBURG – Police are searching for an escaped Montgomery County Jail inmate after a fatal shooting early this morning at the Montgomery Regional Hospital.
    The suspect, 24-year-old William Charles Morva, was taken to the hospital emergency room by a sheriff’s deputy to seek treatment, said Lt. Joe Davis of the Blacksburg police.
    At about 2:30 a.m., Morva overpowered the deputy and took his pistol. Shots were fired, and an unarmed hospital security guard, 26-year-old Derrick McFarland, was shot and killed. McFarland had tried to help the deputy.
    Authorities were not releasing the deputy's name but said he was listed in stable condition from injuries received.
    "Our concern right now is to get more information so we can get Morva back behind bars," Davis said.
    Morva fled on foot. Sheriff's deputies and Christiansburg police officers closed down the Huckleberry Trail entrace at the New River Valley Mall. Four officers armed with rifles took up positions overlooking the trail, watching for any sign of movement. Above then, one of two helicopters from the Virginia State Police, flew along the treeline.
    Montgomery Regional Hospital's emergency room was closed after the shooting and reopened this morning, said Suzanne Barnette, a hospital spokeswoman. She did not know how many patients were affected.
    Sheriff Tommy Whitt said Morva reported falling and had suffered a sprained wrist and leg. Morva was evaluated by the jail’s medical staff, who recommended he be seen by a hospital doctor. Whitt said inmates are transported in handcuffs and leg irons by a deputy sheriff assigned to the jail.
    “We really need to look into it real closely and find out how this happened,” Whitt said. “We have an idea, but it’s just speculation at this point, and I’d rather not speculate.” He said the deputy, whom he declined to identify, was sedated and unable to speak with investigators.
    He said the outpouring of support from other agencies has been “mindboggling.”
    “It was not, ‘What can we do to help you,’ ” Whitt said. “It was, ‘This is what we’re bringing and what we have and where do you want them?’ We didn’t have to call anyone.”
    Morva was in jail on charges of attempted robbery of the Deli Mart on Glade Road in Blacksburg last August. His trial had been continued twice this summer, and the new date was set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to circuit court records.
    Morva is a white man, 5-foot-10-inches tall and 160 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. He had shed his orange jumpsuit and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and dark shorts.
    He may be wearing jail-issued flip flops.
    If you have any information regarding Morva’s whereabouts, please call the Blacksburg Police Department at (540) 961-1150, your local law enforcement agency or 911.
    http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/breaking/wb/79035
     
  2. LAK

    LAK Member

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    Sometimes perhaps more constructive things than armed fully equipped and highly trained sheriff deputies. Lacking further info we could speculate and suggest the duputy was not "suited" to the task - or got careless.

    Having worked in the private sector many years, I can attest to the fact that many clients insist on unarmed security officers. Except for a working environment with tightly controlled access I personally think it is a very bad idea all round. A greater liability than what is often suggested in favor of the opposite.

    -------------------------------------------

    http://ussliberty.org
    http://ssunitedstates.org
     
  3. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    The news article makes it sound like it was a hand to hand fight. There may not have been any way another armed person could have intervened until Morva got control of the deputy's weapon. At that point he may have been able to shoot Morva, or Morva may still have shot him dead before he could employ his weapon.

    It will be impossible to judge if the security guard being armed would have made a difference until we know the details of the fight. It could very well have ended the same way with Morva armed with two firearms.

    Jeff
     
  4. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    According to one of my former bosses in the security field, the greatest factor a client uses in choosing unarmed guards is cost. I've worked for three companies that provided both types and the wages offered for armed guards was always at least 150% that of the unarmed contingent and sometimes three times as much.

    I think that around here, most clients would love to have a well-trained professional armed guard for $8/hour. It just isn't going to happen. Guys like me who could get armed work through half a dozen companies in the greater Boston area alone aren't going to take the lowest bidder.

    I did work an unarmed assignment this past winter but it was a probationary assignment for a new company. I did an armed assignment here and there but the company wanted to make sure I was a good employee before offering me a permanent armed assignment. In previous years I would have told them to find another sucker but I was done with throwing away opportunities.

    It was an unarmed assignment for reasons of cost, not public image. There was no need for a visible armed presence, and the guard's orders were to observe and report only. When in doubt, the cops were ready to respond (smallish town, third shift). Of course, zero interaction with the public was impossible and with the same threat of random crime as any citizen I asked for and received permission to carry concealed. Trying to get the client to pay 200% more for an armed guard would make no sense in this case, however, and insisting upon it would have lost the contract.

    I am sure there are contracts out there where public image is more important that cost. Maybe most mall security isn't armed primarily because of worries of scaring the sheep, I don't know. I can tell you with certainty not to assume that an unarmed security guard doesn't have a concealed firearm as in my experience you would have about a 25% chance of being wrong (and I didn't have that conversation with every single one of my peers, either). The only questions are: does his boss know, does his boss approve, and what kind of wage is he actually receiving?
     
  5. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    However, there is no question it would have improved his chances.
     
  6. sjones63

    sjones63 Member

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    UNARMED? NOT LIKELY

    I am a security guard,only because at 63,that is the only job I can find.I have worked at places where the crime rate is fairly high.Part of my patrols were in a 5 story parking garage.I am supposed to be unarmed,but after taking reports of cartheft,plate theft,one armed robbery,there is no way I will do that.I carry a kel-tec p3at(380).If I get caught carrying and am fired then I can live with that,I want at least a fighting chance to protect myself.BTW I do have a CCL,so it's not like I am carrying ilegally.
     
  7. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    I worked a security job for a month once. WOrked 11pm-7am. Wasn't allowed to arm myself, so I carried a 3 D cell Maglite. Boss was learly of me carrying the Maglite but it was a night shift and I had to tour through dark areas of the building. There was a huge garage full ov delivery trucks that had tons of tools in it for working on the trucks. One night while touring I heard tools being moved around and didn't remember any of the mechanics coming in that night. Sure enough it was some guy that jumnped the fence and was trying to steal tools. He pulled a knife on me and I hit his hand with the maglite and sent the knife sailing. He split and I had no interest in trying to chase him down.

    Boss wasn't happy I hit him with the maglite, I guess he'd rather I got stabbed. So I quit. If he had a gun I would likely be dead.
     
  8. big44

    big44 Member

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    Another Killed - Update

    Update to this story. Maybe the guard being armed wouldn't have made a difference, but maybe it would have given him a fair chance.




    August 21, 2006

    Deputy shot and killed, search intensifies for escapee, VT cancels classes

    Montgomery County Sheriff's Department officials say Deputy Eric Sutphin was shot and killed this morning while he pursued the suspect in another police shooting.
    Police are looking for William Charles Morva. Morva is the inmate who escaped yesterday after killing a hospital security guard and wounding a Montgomery County sheriff's deputy.
    Virginia Tech officials are shutting down the Blacksburg campus while police search for a shooting suspect. Classes are cancelled. Authorities asked resident students to return to their dorms. Dorms are in lockdown status, which means only residents can enter. Virginia Tech is asking employees to stay in their offices and central personnel to remain on campus.
    Blacksburg police earlier evacuated the Squires Student center as part of their pursuit of a suspect who shot a law enforcement officer this morning. Shortly before 11 a.m., police say they completed their search of the student center, and there was no trace of the suspect.
    The sheriff's department says Deputy Sutphin was shot about a half-mile down the Huckleberry Trail, and police are out in force searching that area. The trail runs about six miles and connects Blacksburg and Christiansburg. Some people who live near the Huckleberry trail have reportedly been evacuated from their homes. Police are asking residents of the area to stay out of the way and keep their doors locked.
    Morva is believed to be dressed in a tie-dyed shirt and khaki shorts. He may be covering himself with a towel or sheet. Morva is considered armed and dangerous. Police say if you see him, do not approach him--dial 9-1-1.
    Police have been searching for Morva since he escaped yesterday morning from Montgomery Regional Hospital. He had been taken for treatment of a sprained wrist and leg. Police say he managed to gain control of a Montgomery County deputy's gun. Police say Morva shot and killed 26-year-old Derrick McFarland, a security officer at the hospital. He shot and wounded a deputy. That deputy, who has not been identified, is in stable condition.
    Morva was in jail awaiting trial for attempted armed robbery. He was charged in connection with an attempted holdup at the Glade Road Deli Mart last August. His trial on attempted robbery, firearms and burglary charges was scheduled for later this week.
    http://www.wdbj7.com/Global/story.asp?S=5305175
     
  9. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Um, you could have just as easily asked "what good do armed deputies do?" So, your pretense is if the security guard had a magical gun things would have been swell, but having a gun did nothing to help the deputy and the deputies' gun was used to kill the guard.

    Firearms ain't magic and they are fairly poor fighting tools at bad breath range. The greatest asset of a projectile weapon is the ability to injure at a distance. Up close, plenty of ways to cause lethal injuries that were available to all parties involved. Maybe if the guard was armed it would have turned out different, maybe it wouldn't have?

    In the same way that guns don't kill people or cause crime...they don't make good guys deadly or protect them. It is always about the skill and intent of the user. Good Hand to Hand skills possesed by both the deputy and/or the security guard would have kept this from ever being a one way gunfight. You can carry HtoH skill anywhere in the world. Awareness/avoidance and common sense are equally portable and all of the above are more important than a firearm IMHO. Heck, if the only reason you train HtoH is to be able to hold onto or get to the super deadly firearm...that's reason enough isn't it?

    The real problem is the lack of training security guards get. Cops don't get nearly enough unarmed stuff and what they do get is geared to arresting suspects with minimal force, not fight for your life with your hands-whatever is available type of thing. Security guards get an annual ASP/OC cert if they're lucky and that's about it. I've been an unarmed Hospital security guard and a heavily armed security contractor. In each of those extremes, my ability to survive hostile situations was based on training I sought out and paid for myself....relying on the company would have left me hangin'. In the case of security contractors, they expect you to come GTG already...but many aren't.

    I love guns, but they are just tools that excel in only a very limited set of circumstances. Worth having and carrying for those circumstances, but you need to be able to handle all the others too...
     
  10. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    Fox News just reported that there is a standoff occuring right now.

    Update - Now they are saying a search is occuring

    Update 2 - Deputy shot dead while searching for him near VA Tech Campus

    Update 3 - They are saying a standoff is indeed occuring at this time
     
  11. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    Update 4

    Back to saying thery are in a manhunt. Have dropped all mention of a standoff.

    VT is on lockdown. 25,000 students told to remain inside.
     
  12. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    update 5

    Video of SWAT searching what appears to be VT campus building(s).
     
  13. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    Here's the name of the dead officer and a little info on him.

    Montgomery County Sheriff's Cpl. Eric E. Sutphin was a medal of valor winner after being wounded in a previous shootout he got into with a suspect. He apparently leaves behind a wife and more than one child from what was said by a spokesman on Fox News. Pray for the rest of the officers looking for this guy they may very well need it.

    Montgomery County Sheriffs to hold news conference at 1pm
     
  14. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Member

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    This story hits pretty close to home. I have family that lives in Blacksberg including my cousin who is a Doctor for the Virginia Tech football team.

    I worked as an unarmed security guard between getting out of Army and continuing on to college. The prime responsability for a SG is to detect and report. SGs look for signs on anything out of the ordinary (including saftey hazards, equipment failure, etc.) and report it to correct parties. Also, SGs offer a deterence to crime. Consider someone wanting to break into cars. If they know there is a SG at one property and not a Sg across the street, they are more likely to go across the street.

    Let me just say that our Security Officer classes were tought by Daytona Beach police officers and many said that SG, in many cases, are in a more dangerous situation than many LEOs. LEOs respond to crime once they have occured and are on an "alert" staturs when responding. SGs, on the other hand, are usually on the site when the crime is committed and sometime stuble onto the crime unaware it is being commited. In this case unarmed SGs are at an extreme disadvantage.
     
  15. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    Press Conference Notes

    Suspect: William Morva

    No confirmed sightings on campus.

    Deputy killed today was shot on the Huckleberry Trail.

    Still considered armed.

    No information that he has aquired any more weapons.
     
  16. furetto7

    furetto7 Member

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    The county hospital here in Lubbock is University Medical Center and is co-located with the Texas Tech Medical School, the Director of Security is a retired LPD officer and when Administration didn't want to arm the inhouse security staff he hired off duty LPD and DPS officers to work in the Emergency Center. The place is set up to maximize control of prisoners brought in by local LE and the TDCJ facility here, without going into details, there are several levels of control used on prisoners and there are always at least two armed officers with each offender.
     
  17. big44

    big44 Member

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    strambo-Um, you could have just as easily asked "what good do armed deputies do?" So, your pretense is if the security guard had a magical gun things would have been swell, but having a gun did nothing to help the deputy and the deputies' gun was used to kill the guard.

    No, I'm not saying that a magical gun for the guard would have made a difference. Scarcasim noted and not appreciated! All I'm saying is that it would have given the guard the same chance the deputy had and maybe kept this killer from getting beyond the hospital in the first place. Montgomery Regional Hospital is a big complex. Patients and employees have the assumption that just because they have security that they are secure. But what good is an unarmed guard in that kind of environment? Granted, not all guards have the mental wherewithall to be armed. But in this kind of situation the hospital administration needs to get thier heads out of the sand and give their guards the tools to protect themselves and the patients and employees.
     
  18. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Sorry big44, that came off a little more sarcastic than I intended. :eek:

    I'm just a firm believer in training/mindset not tools. The Deputies' tool hurt the situation. The right training and mindset is what was needed to handle the situation. I've witnessed many LE and security folks being pretty lax with people once they are handcuffed. In training, I show them how to kill someone in 2-3 seconds while cuffed. Helps put things back in perspective and avoid complacency.

    The Deputies' gun didn't improve his chances at all...he got shot w/ it. He needed to know how to forearm the guy to the throat, stomp his knee and brain him with the IV pole the instant the con mad a move towards the gun (it was life and death situation at that point). Maybe the Dep. got totally blindsided and had no chance...if that was the case then he shouldn't have allowed himself to be in a position to get blindsided. You can't be 100% alert all the time. You can have the discipline to be 100% alert all the time your with a suspect though, or make allowance.

    The officers who baby sit patients in our hospital would sit well out of arms reach and read a book with the suspect cuffed to the bed. If the cuffs need to be removed for procedures, then they would obviously be (better be) 100%alert and would get security to help. That's when if they twitch towards a gun, then it's "GO" time.
     
  19. #shooter

    #shooter Member

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    The fact is a firearm in CQC is equally an asset and a liability. This is why would be victims are told not to attempt to restrain assailants and let the police do it. Prisoner transfers are always inherently dangerous especially in a hospital: plenty of ad hoc weapons, removal of restraints for treatment, and easy access to potential hostages. It is obviously he feigned his injuries so he could make an escape attempt. Too bad he was caught alive and is now going to cost taxpayers more money at trial. My condolences to the victims families.
     
  20. big44

    big44 Member

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    stambo, apology gracefully accepted. I was a little emotionally involved with this post as this happened 30 minutes from where I live. You did make some valid points.
     
  21. akodo

    akodo Member

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    regarding unarmed security guards.

    There are some unarmed guards who I would trust with a gun, there are some who I wouldn't.

    At some point, without proper training, an armed guard may be more of a problem than a solution. We all have been exposed to police officers who are less than enthusiastic about firearm care, saftey, and practice, I think lowering the wage, prestige, and power of a position is only going to make it more likely to have that kind of individual.

    Also I think the roll the place of business has in mind is important. Often security guards are not in place to protect people, but to protect product. It's one thing to have a security guard stand around so no one shoplifts item X, or even to confront a person shoplifting item X or in general causing trouble, and ask the to leave. That is usually all a security guard is expected to do. When SHTF expect him to dive for cover just like you. Don't expect cops to help you, sure as hell don't expect armed or unarmed security guards to help you, expect to help yourself.




    Now, a security guard being allowed to carry a firearm so he can protect himself is a whole different ballgame, but then I view it as an employee right to protect themselves, be they pizza delivery, security, or after hours janitor or what have you...roll as security guard becomes irrelvant.
     
  22. stillamarine

    stillamarine Member

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    As a former Security Supervisor in a hospital setting I can tell you that armed officers are sometimes just not feasible. This incident aside a lot of times Security Officers deal with drunks and mentally disturbed individuals. Trying to hold down a drunk on a gurney while nurses strap him down is dangerous enough as it is. I personally would be hesitant to do it with a firearm strapped to my side. Having said that the hospital I worked at we were completly unarmed meaning no self defense weapons. I believe Batons, OC, and Tasers have a place in hospitals.
     
  23. kengrubb

    kengrubb Member

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    Unarmed security guards do serve a very valuable purpose--but not the one some might imagine.

    Unarmed security guards [wearing a uniform that looks like that of a police officer] give lost children someone to turn to for help.

    In May, the wife and I took the kids to the zoo. I lost our 5 year old son for about 10 minutes--scariest 10 minutes of my life, and I've been robbed at gunpoint before.

    Afterwards, we've reflected on the situation and what we can do to help our son help himself in the future--because depending upon Dad obviously ain't gonna cut it every time.

    The Woodland Park Zoo has unarmed security, but the word "security" on their nametag is the only thing that distinguishes them from other zoo employees. While adults can recognize a blue polo shirt as the "uniform" of employees, a 5 year old does not necessarily make that distinction. He now points and remarks "There's an officer" whenever he sees a uniformed police officer, but he doesn't quite get the connection between a nametag and an employee.

    In addition to our son, two other kids, that we know of, got separated from their parents within about an hour and a half window that day. I suspect the Woodland Park Zoo could go 20 years or more before a violent incident occurs there requiring armed security.

    Do the math on the relative merits.
     
  24. hoji

    hoji Member

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    I am a current Level III { armed} Security Instructor in Texas.
    the thing to remember about security is, you can only be armed if the CLIENT wants you to be.
    It does not matter if you have an armed license, if the client asks for unarmed officers, then by law{Texas anyway} you have to work unarmed.
     
  25. MountainBear

    MountainBear Member

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    I have worked unarmed security jobs for the last ten years and have had extensive training in both law (police acadamy) and firearms (private classes). I am in the last month of my latest unarmed gig and the fact is that this is my last unarmed job.
    While I agree that some of the morons who get hired to do unarmed security shouldn't be given a maglite, much less a gun, I think thats simply a reflection on hte people who hire the guards.
    Now, yes, there are places where armed guards would be inappropriate (although few and far between, an amusement park should have at least an armed response that stays out of public sight if neccesary). But for the most part an unarmed security guard is a target.
    If you aren't worried enough about your property to hire armed guards/security, then you don't need security on your property. an all night janitor could do the observe report job quite well.
     
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