PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A security guard is recovering after he was shot at over the weekend. It’s just one in a string of recent attacks on guards, including one that turned deadly.
The guard with Eclipse Security Professionals was working in NE Portland near Legacy Emanuel around 4 a.m. Sunday when he was targeted by a gunman getting out of a parked car.
“I received a phone call at about 4 (a.m.) that one of our officers on patrol had been involved in a shooting,” said Mark Mercer, owner of Eclipse Security Professionals. He “was out doing some patrols in the North Portland area and while driving down the street, somebody had exited out of the vehicle and began shooting at him.”
The patrol unit was shot at six times but the guard was able to get away and made it to a PPB office on NE Rodney Ave. He wasn’t hit by a bullet but he was injured by broken glass after the window was hit. Mercer says it’s still unclear who targeted the guard and why.
“I don’t know if there was a reason for it because we don’t know who the person is as of this time,” said Mercer.
This was the second attack on a private security guard within a week in Portland. On June 26, a security guard was attacked by a trespasser on SE Division who got the guard’s gun out of his holster and shot him in the chest. Fortunately for the guard, a ballistic vest saved his life.
The incidents just add to a string of recent attacks on guards. In early May, Sircharles Marc Anthony Jones, a guard working the South Waterfront, was shot and killed in his vehicle. In April, a gun was pulled on a security guard at the Troutdale Outlet Mall by a group of shoplifters. In March, a security guard in Old Town was stabbed in the head.
“I think we’ve all got concerns,” said Mercer. “There just seems to be a very callous and lawless attitude towards any kind of a uniformed presence or any kind of authority.”
Mercer says it’s the first time any of his guards have been shot at and he is concerned — not only for them, but for others who may be targets as well.
“I think people need to be aware of their safety. I think they need to be aware of their environment,” said Mercer.
Portland police say their Enhanced Community Safety Team is now leading the investigation into this weekend’s shooting. As for Mercer, he said he will likely start more training with his Eclipse guards when it comes to situational awareness.