The recent bloodshed outside of a restaurant in Waco Texas that was the result of a motorcycle gang feud ended in nine fatalities and 18 injuries. Law enforcement responded to the scene immediately and had to use their weapons, and by the end of the day, over 150 people were arrested and charged. Local law enforcement, as well as Federal Agencies will be reviewing all the evidence compiled from the scene, and will continue to investigate. One of the most troubling aspects of this case that was revealed to the public was that law enforcement was aware of the gathering at the restaurant, and strongly urged the restaurant's managers to refuse service to the gangs for fear of the situation attracting rival gangs and escalating into violence. Waco Police Department Sergeant W. Patrick Swanson said "this is probably one of the most gruesome crime scenes I’ve ever seen in my 34 years of law enforcement,” Swanton said. He added later: “I was amazed that we didn’t have innocent civilians killed or injured.”
The restaurant's headquarters issued a statement :"The management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from...the police. We will not tolerate the actions of this relatively new franchisee and... [are] revoking their franchise agreement." This particular franchise, acting against explicit warnings from law enforcement for financial gain, ended with multiple murders, injuries, arrests, and the franchise itself being shutdown. Private businesses are at their own discretion to determine who they allow to enter their premises in order to make a profit, but they should always be conscious of the potential risks involved. If a private business is fortunate enough to have their own security team, the security team should always fully cooperate with law enforcement, as well as be mindful of the following steps:
Be on the lookout for suspicious people:
A suspicious person can be a visitor, passerby, or anyone who enters a building without permission, behaving oddly, and seems out of place. The best way to prevent a suspicious person from entering is to keep the facility secure by keeping it locked at all times, or to control all entrance points. Do not grant access to strangers or suspicious visitors, and make sure all sensitive material such as money or financial information is out of reach, or inaccessible to visitors. In places where alcohol is served, the security guard should monitor the premises for any persons showing signs of intoxication, and be prepared to escort them out in a calm manner, to avoid the situation escalating.
Be Ready to contact law enforcement for help:
Be vigilant for anything unusual or suspicious, and call law enforcement immediately if you come across something. Trust your instincts. If something strikes you as being out of place or problematic, call the police immediately.
In the event of an active shooter:
An active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in the killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims. Call 911 when it is safe to do so, and utilize cover whenever, and wherever possible. If the security team is armed and trained, it may come to a point where they must engage the active shooter with available firearms and weapons.
In security, the safety of employees, customers, and visitors is the top priority, and it is up to the security guard to stay vigilant, assess potential threats, and allow the business they serve to function with peace of mind.