A man hospitalized after being shot by a Sacramento, California, security guard outside a 7-Eleven store now is suing the guard and his prior employer, claiming the guard used excessive force.
The violent encounter occurred in February, when armed guard Dustin Arlis White spotted Sulman Hafeez urinating on the side of the building. White approached Hafeez and told him to leave. When he refused, White responded by taking Hafeez to the ground to arrest him for trespassing. You can watch the surveillance camera footage here.
According to Fox 40 news, Hafeez’ attorney, Matthew Eason, acknowledges that his client was drunk and should not have urinated on the wall. However, he told Fox 40: “The mace attack … when you look at how he shakes the mace … he’s prepared to mace him before there’s even an event.”
What happened next occurred outside the view of surveillance cameras. In an incident report he wrote, White said Hafeez began fighting him. That prompted White to use his pepper spray once and his stun gun three times, he said.
But it didn’t stop Hafeez, White wrote. He said Hafeez began bashing his head into the roots of a nearby tree.
“It is at this time that I am in fear of my life,” White wrote. “I was pinned down and unable to subdue the inebriated man by any means.”
White shot Hafeez once in the stomach, then immediately handcuffed him and called police.
Hafeez is facing criminal charges for battering White. White’s former employer, Cal Force Security, voluntarily surrendered its license in April. However, White was not charged with a crime and continued to work as a security guard.
In June, according to news reports, White was involved in another shooting. Two people were shot in an exchange of gunfire between White and an unknown person.
According to news reports, Sacramento police were investigating whether White was justified in the second shooting.
A previous investigation by Reveal found that the state Bureau of Security and Investigative Services has at times failed to thoroughly investigate shootings, allowing guards who misused their guns to keep their licenses and their jobs. At a subsequent hearing, state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, said he was concerned that guards are able to continue working following shootings.
“If there’s a police officer that’s in a shooting, they go on desk duty. They are removed from duty pending the outcome of an investigation. And that doesn’t occur here,” he said. “Those individuals can continue to go about their business without a suspension.”
Although he still is licensed to work as an armed security guard, White now works as a carpenter, according to news reports.