Pittsburgh police investigate shooting by guard
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Pittsburgh police are investigating a shooting Wednesday by a security guard at a Crafton Heights apartment complex who opened fire on a motorist in the parking lot because he said he feared the man was going to run him over.
The driver, Robert Moore, 30, of Wilkinsburg, was struck once in the arm. After he was treated at a hospital, he was taken to Allegheny County Jail, where he was arraigned on two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of defiant trespass.
According to the criminal complaint, Brian Quinn, a security guard with Pond Security Service, shot Mr. Moore at the Mountain View apartment complex on Woodlow Street.
The complaint said Mark Miksic, another guard with Pond, was patrolling the complex when he spotted Mr. Moore, who is not allowed on the property. Mr. Moore and his girlfriend, who lives there, were walking toward a Chevy Lumina, the complaint said.
After Mr. Moore climbed into the driver's side of the vehicle, Mr. Miksic went after him, ordering him out of the car at gunpoint. When Mr. Moore refused to get out, Mr. Miksic tried to pull him out of the car, according to the complaint.
Mr. Quinn was standing in the area in the front of the car when he saw Mr. Moore start to drive away, dragging Mr. Miksic with him, the complaint said. Mr. Quinn said the car was coming toward him as he yelled, "Stop, stop!"
"Quinn felt he could not get out of the way, so he fired his weapon at ... the driver," the detective wrote in the complaint. "Quinn stated he felt he was in danger of serious bodily injury or death."
When officers arrived, Mr. Moore had tied a T-shirt around his wounded arm. He was transported to Allegheny General Hospital.
Pond Security declined to define the employment status of Mr. Quinn and Mr. Miksic.
"Pond Security is following our corporate procedures, and we are fully cooperating with the Pittsburgh Police with their ongoing investigation," the company, which has offices in Shaler and Allison Park, said in an emailed statement.
Pond officials and state police confirmed that the two guards hold certification under the Lethal Weapons Training Act, also known as Act 235, which is obtained through the Pennsylvania State Police.
Trooper Adam Reed, a spokesman for the state police, said the certification permits them to carry a firearm for their job and includes a psychological evaluation, physical, criminal background check and hands-on firearms training.
The certification does not confer on them any greater rights than exist for other civilians, said Larry Likar, a retired FBI agent who is a professor at La Roche College's Justice, Law and Security Department.
Mike Manko, spokesman for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., said his office is not investigating the incident but will review any reports from city police. He emphasized that security guards are not considered law enforcement in the eyes of the law.
"[Act] 235 certification only applies to the ability to carry a weapon. It does not make the security guard the equivalent of a law enforcement officer," he wrote in an email. "As of now, this is a city police investigation and when we review the investigation and reports, we will use the same analysis as when any person who is not law enforcement uses force and/or deadly force when they feel their life is being threatened."
First Published November 22, 2012 12:00 am