“When he heard what was happening over the radio, he ran to the site of the incident.”
An armed security guard was instrumental in stopping the shooting at STEM School in Highlands Ranch, CO Tuesday, according to local ABC affiliate Denver7.
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said the school’s armed guard immediately ran toward the gunfire when it broke out at the school Tuesday afternoon. The guard was then able to locate one of the suspected shooters and take them to the ground, likely saving countless lives.
The school does not have a dedicated resource officer Denver7 reported, depending instead on an armed private security guard hired through BOSS High Level Protection. Robert Burk, the security guard’s attorney, told Denver7 his client is a highly trained Marine Corps veteran who also previously worked for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Burk, the security guard did everything in his power to protect the students.
“When he heard what was happening over the radio, he ran to the site of the incident and he took every action he could to protect the children,” Burk said. “From what I’ve talked to him about — his response was everything you could expect from a security guard.”
Burk admitted the situation became confusing for the guard, who was receiving conflicting information from different sources. He may not have been immediately aware that there were two shooters. Still, Burk contends that his client was able to save lives with his actions.
“I know that my client is a hero and I know that he did everything in his power to protect the kids, and the staff and the faculty that he knows and works with every day,” Burk said.
According to Denver7, police are investigating the possibility that the guard may have at one point mistakenly fired at a deputy responding to the shooting and whether a student was hit by a bullet fired by the guard or a responding deputy. One of the first deputies on the scene was forced to flee the building upon entering it, telling superiors he believed the school’s armed guard may have fired on him.
Burk wouldn’t comment on whether his client has been interviewed by police, but said he does not expect him to be charged with any wrongdoing.
“Like I said, he did everything he could to protect those kids but as to the mindset of the DA or the police I just don’t know,” Burk said.
A Douglas County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman told Denver7 the could not comment on the specifics of the story, citing the ongoing investigation.
BOSS High Level Protection CEO Whitus told Denver7 he was unaware of reports his employee may have fired at a responding deputy.
The story comes as national debate rages over whether or not arming school employees could be a way to prevent or mitigate the loss of life in school shootings. Most recently, Florida’s legislature enacted a law that would allow teachers to carry firearms after taking a required training course.