Around 11:00am on Thursday, July 24, two Seattle area men were shot multiple times resulting in critical injuries. 46-year-old Bank of America security guard, Bruce Golphenee, approached a 30-year-old patron inside the bank and found himself in a resulting argument. It is unclear what the disagreement was about, but witnesses say that the suspect did not appear to be attempting robbery.
The altercation escalated quickly as the suspect reportedly attacked the security guard. The suspect was able to restrain the guard and retrieved the guard’s firearm. Gun shots rang through out the neighborhood strip mall as Golphenee, long-time veteran security guard, was shot multiple times before the suspect turned the gun on himself. The 30-year-old gunman shot himself multiple times. Once in the head and another in the chest. The chest injury may have been from the initial struggle.
Local barber, George Shaw, heard the shots down the hall from his shop as other witnesses fled the scene. Shaw ran toward the Bank of America.
“I [saw] the security guard lying there in agony and then I saw the other guy lying there on his stomach by the door.”
Of the security guard Shaw reported, “He was on the ground moving from side to side because he was in pain.” Shaw attempted to comfort the guard by getting on the floor and talking to him, “Hey we called 911, don’t worry.”
This particular neighborhood in Seattle is known for violence because it has had seven shootings in the last six years. Of those, this is the second attack on a security guard.
Both men in this case are expected to fully recover, but the lesson here is that violence is always a concern for security guards. It is important to ensure security guards, especially armed guards, because they are on high alert and maintain composure in sensitive situations such as this. The security guard rightly approached the suspect and the resulting altercation may not have been avoidable. Gun safety precautions should always be taken, as well as regular safety courses.
Some neighborhoods and industries may be more dangerous than others. Bank, jewelry, and high end retail security are examples of especially sensitive areas that require more attention to detail. Keeping security guards safe is always important, especially those who take their jobs as seriously as Golphenee.