Deadly shootings highlight dangers of security guard work


    Two men have been shot and killed by security guards this month.

    SAN ANTONIO - The medical examiner has identified the man shot and killed by a security guard outside a party venue on the Northeast Side over the weekend.

    Police say Frank Barrett, 36, pulled out a gun and opened fire on the security guard after he was asked to leave the party at a rented ballroom on Naco Perrin Boulevard. We're told the guard returned fire, killing Barrett in the parking lot.

    This was the second deadly shooting involving a security guard in the span of a week.

    Two Saturdays ago, a man was kicked out of Club Essence north of downtown. Police say his friend, Alfredo Morales, 45, put the club's security guard in a chokehold. The guard managed to reach for his gun and shot Morales, who later died.

    "It's scary," says security guard Christopher Romero. "It's nerve-racking."

    Working security at San Antonio bars, Romero has seen it all.

    "Brawls happen inside of bars," Romero says. "I've witnessed individuals pulling out knives. I've heard gunshots in the parking lot where they've pulled guns."

    But the recent spate of bar violence gives even him pause.

    "I guess you go into work and you know that it's a possibility that it could happen," he says with a shrug. "But you never want it to go that far."

    He says security guards have to make quick decisions, especially during situations where they are outnumbered by the bar patrons.

    "They don't have time to react and call 911," Romero says. "They have to handle business right there."

    They have to be prepared for any scenario, especially when alcohol is involved.

    "Guess what, you don't know what that guy has," he says. "He might have a gun. He might have a knife."

    It was knife, police say, this past Sunday morning outside Cohiba Lounge on Stone Oak Parkway.

    A security guard was stabbed, along with another man, after police say he kicked out a man who was assaulting a woman inside the bar.

    Romero says guards are trained in deescalation. The first step is verbal deescalation.

    "The second step is me actually having to put my hands on you," Romero says.

    The third step only applies to the guards who are armed.

    "They can have tasers, they can have batons, and/or guns," Romero says. "Lethal force at the very end. You don't want to have to do that, but it does come to that."

    Neither security guard is facing charges for the deadly shootings.

    Meanwhile, police are still looking for the man who stabbed the guard outside Cohiba Lounge.

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