ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A security guard has been relieved of his duties after accidentally shooting his friend at Ross Park Mall Tuesday night.
According to police, the incident happened in the security office around 11 p.m.
The guard was getting ready to go home for the evening. While loading his personal firearm, he accidentally fired it. The resulting shot went through a wooden stand and struck his friend in the buttocks.
“The security officer was actually ending his shift,” said Ross Township Police Det. Brian Kohlhepp. “It was 11 o’clock at night, and he was preparing to go home. When he was loading his personal firearm, he accidentally discharged that firearm.”
The injured man was treated and released from an area hospital.
“The round went through and came back out. So, what’s commonly referred to as a ‘through and through’ gunshot wound. Like I said, he went to the hospital that night, but he was released later that same evening,” said Det. Kohlhepp. “I was told he was in good spirits about the whole event.”
The guard’s name has not been released, but he was employed by Universal Protection Services, not Ross Park Mall. He has since been relieved of his duties as a security guard at the mall.
“My understanding from the mall is he’s been relieved of his employment, and certainly won’t be back at the mall as a guard,” said Det. Kohlhepp.
Police are investigating, but do not expect to file charges at this time.
The mall is deferring to Ross Township Police for any questions about the shooting. Police say that the guards at Ross Park are unarmed, and it’s unclear if they are allowed to store their personal firearms in the security office while working.
“They’re obviously not allowed to have them as part of their daily carry, as part of their uniform, as part of their daily duties, but I’m not aware of their policy as to firearms on the premises,” Det. Kohlhepp said.
The mall was closed at the time of the incident and no customers were in danger.