Prosecutors Charge Off-Duty Security Guard Who Shot Teen Returning Airsoft Gun

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Airsoft guns look like real guns for a reason. They're used in games that need that realism in order to work. Military simulations, or MilSims are events where two sides basically pretend to be combat soldiers and try to take out the enemy. A bright orange gun kind of runs counter to that.


However, there are risks associated with the guns, including the fact that many have used the similarities to real guns to misuse airsoft weapons to commit crimes. Not a pathway to a long and happy life, but some do it anyway.

Yet it seems there's at least one instance where the person with the airsoft gun may not have done anything wrong and still was shot and killed.

Prosecutors said they believe the teenager and his friends were trying to return or exchange an Airsoft BB gun Wednesday evening at a sporting goods store in Renton when the 51-year-old suspect confronted them.

“He saw these kids walking inside with their Airsoft guns, and he took it upon himself to confront them,” said Meeghan Black with the Renton Police Department.

According to court papers, the suspect is an off-duty security guard who was in a parking lot waiting for his teenage son to get out of martial arts classes nearby. He told police he saw three teens walk past him, with one of them carrying a gun he believed was a Glock pistol.

Even though he had no security jurisdiction over the strip mall in which he was parked, police said the suspect confronted the teens, pointed his security guard-issued gun at them and accused them of trying to commit armed robbery.

“The 17-year-olds were trying to tell him they were just BB guns, but the altercation intensified so rapidly that, unfortunately, the gun was fired,” Black said.

During the ensuing altercation, the suspect says one of the teens reached into his waistband, which prompted him to fire.

Now, there are a few factors that need to be considered, one of which was that he was an off-duty security guard and he wasn't responsible for that strip mall anyway. In other words, we had a security guard acting like he was a cop.


The correct response would have been to call the police and let them deal with it, but instead, he tried to play the hero.

Then, when the teens tried to tell him they were just BB guns, he didn't listen. Granted, it's not like a criminal wouldn't try that approach as well, but again, this isn't a cop.

It doesn't appear anyone pointed the airsoft guns at him or anything, he just said someone reached into their waistbands. 

Frankly, I don't know that's enough to keep him from going to prison under the circumstances.

As it stands, he's sitting in jail on a $2 million bond after the judge found probable cause for second-degree murder charges. That's not the same as saying he's guilty, mind you, and he'll have an opportunity to defend himself and potentially show his innocence.

Unfortunately for him, this happened in Washington state. Even if it happened in Florida or Texas, I don't know that he could walk, but in an anti-gun, anti-self-defense state like Washington?

He needs to start getting very comfortable with confined spaces.

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