A security officer doing his rounds in east Spokane was shot and killed Tuesday after a confrontation with a group of apartment residents sitting outside along their rear alley on the warm summer night.
George Hayek, 26, an officer for Securitas Security Services USA, died at the scene just before 11 p.m. He armed himself with a BB gun that looked like a semi-automatic handgun during the fatal confrontation.
The shooting occurred between a Pepsi bottling plant at 4014 E. Sprague Ave. and the Pacific Plaza Apartments, 4023 E. Pacific Ave.
A witness said Wednesday that the security guard pulled what appeared to be a weapon and was being the aggressor.
The guard reportedly worked at the Premera Blue Cross campus, a short distance to the west, according to employees of that company who received an e-mail notifying them of the death.
The witness – one of the persons relaxing at the rear of the apartments – said the guard came driving down the alley, and that he and others in the group feared the driver was involved in some kind of unsavory activity.
“Me and some friends were sitting at the picnic table out there and this car come by rolling real slow,” said the witness, who declined to give his name.
The area has crime problems, the witness said.
One of the residents yelled at the driver to take his business elsewhere, the witness said.
The uniformed security guard got out of his car and confronted the group. Words were exchanged, the witness said. They were separated by a chain-link fence running the length of the lot.
The guard returned to his vehicle and grabbed what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon, police said in a news release. It turned out to be a BB gun that was made to look like a semi-automatic handgun, police said.
When the guard returned to confront the group, a friend of the witness pulled a gun in response to the threat and fired several rounds, striking and killing Hayek, police said. The shooter’s name was not released, and he was not arrested. An investigation is continuing, police said.
“It happened that fast,” the witness said, snapping his fingers.
The shooter then jumped the fence and started CPR, the witness said.
Two police officers arrived and took over CPR until medics made it to the scene, police said.
“One minute you are sitting there minding your own business and the next thing you’re smelling gunpowder,” the witness said.
Hayek had been employed with Securitas since May. A vast majority of the 100,000 Securitas employees nationwide are not armed, a company spokeswoman said.