A man in Buffalo, New York recently attempted to rob at woman at her home, shooting her in the leg. Then he went to a methadone clinic to rob that too. Once in the clinic's check-in area, he fired an AR-15-style rifle into a wall to get attention. He got attention, from security guard Reynaldo Beckford.
There is a mistaken belief that fighters don't fell fear. With a few exceptions, fighters feel fear. The difference is, they feel fear but control it. Beckford initially reacted in a startled fashion (imagine being at work, and someone armed with a rifle shoots it right next to you). And then Beckford controlled the very real fear, heroically.
He lunged towards the armed man, got behind him, and was able to in effect body lock the shooter with his own rifle. However, the gunman kept his finger on the trigger. At least two more shots were fired during the altercation.
As Beckford conrolled the gunman, two more people enter through a door. One sees what is happening and "NOPE NOPE NOPE" heads the other way. The other man is a second security guard, and the two are able force the man outdoors and onto the ground. There, with help from two passersby, the guards finally are able to disarm the attacker.
This is the raw security camera footage.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said if not for the security guards bravery, it could have been a bad day for Buffalo. The city suffered a racially-based mass shooting in May.
“This could’ve gotten ugly really quick,” said Flynn. “Due to the quick action — quite frankly heroic in my opinion — by the two security officers, no one got hurt there.”
"Two security guards and two civilians who, in my mind, took nothing less than a heroic action. They did not worry about the safety of themselves. They were concerned about the safety of the people who were around them."
The Hero Speaks
"When I turned, I saw in the corner of my eye I saw was the person and the rifle," said Beckford to local ABC affiliate WKBW. "That's all I saw. At that moment, I took a good look at the person and I couldn't believe what was happening."
"I would be lying if I say to you I wasn't scared for my life. And the first thing that flashed over my brain was my baby who just turned three years old."
Beckford is a hero, and in true hero fashion, says he isn't. He says after 20 years of security work, he's just a guy doing his job,
"That's the business I'm in," he said. "To save and protect, and that's exactly what I did. ... Nobody lost their life, nobody got hurt, and to God be the glory."
The gunman, identified as Jeffrey Griffin, 48, is currently in custody, facing a number of charges. These include attempted murder, reckless endangerment, possession of an assault rifle, and possession of an extended magazine. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said in a press conference, "[Both shootings] were an attempted robbery seeking what we believe to be drugs."
The woman shot by Griffin was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The clinic is considering increased security.
Beckford is considering therapy. Even heroes need therapy.