DENVER, COLORADO — Despite stopping a mass school shooting, a security guard is facing a lot of scrutiny for his actions. Not only did he inadvertently shoot two students, but he was not supposed to have a firearm on school grounds to begin with.
On May 7, 2019, two teenagers brought firearms to the STEM School Highlands Ranch and opened fire, killing one student and eight other people.Via Washington Times
Sundara, a security guard hired by the school, responded to the shooting by detaining and disarming one of the alleged shooters in a school hallway, “possibly preventing further injury and loss of life,” Richards said.
After stopping the suspect, Sundara saw a person in street clothes round the corner and then saw the muzzle of a gun, Richards said.
“Sundara fired two shots in the direction of the gun,” Richards said. “Although both shots missed the subject, who turned out to be a law enforcement officer, they went through the wall of a classroom where students were gathered.
“Two students were struck, sustaining non-life threatening injuries.”
Two students entered the school with the intention to start a mass shooting. These armed students managed to shoot and injure several other students and killing one. Sundara, a school security guard, managed to apprehend and disarm one of the shooters. This prevented further carnage and loss of life.
Sundara then spotted a plain clothed person round the corner of the hallway with a gun. Not knowing if this was another shooter, he discharged his own gun in the direction of this person. The shots he fired went through a wall and struck two students on the other side.
The plain clothed person was a police officer on the scene, and not another school shooter. Thankfully the two students struck by Sundara’s gun were not fatally wounded.
After the shooting had ended and the investigation began, Sundara came under scrutiny for his actions. For starters, he was not allowed to carry a firearm on school property. Secondly, he injured two students because of the firearm that he was illegally carrying. At the same time, however, he did help stop a school shooting. Authorities weren’t quite sure what to do.
Well, the obvious bad thing here is that Sundara shot two students. His errant shots went through a wall and struck to innocents bystanders. We can point to the rules of firearm safety on this one. Always know what you are shooting at, and what is beyond your target. Sundara did not know who he was shooting at, or considered what we beyond his intended target.
Secondly, he got busted for having a gun where he wasn’t supposed to have one. Although, personally I don’t think this is bad thing because he saved lives with his gun, the law still had to weigh this into their consideration for the case.
Sundara saved lives. There is no doubt about it. More students would have been shot and possible killed if not for his actions. The fact that he had a gun with him helped put him in a position to end to this mass shooting.
Sundara is a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan. Following this event, his employer BOSS Level Protection, not only stood by and supported his actions, they also promoted him. The CEO of the security company said he had been through two school shootings, and Sundara did everything that could have been asked of him.
After the long investigation, Sundara has been ordered to do 50 hours of community service. He also needs to participate in a forum with the victims of the shooting. Once he completes these two things, his case will be closed with no pending charges.
Colorado law states that “deadly physical force may be used” if a person believes they are in imminent danger of being killed or injured. It is because of this statute that authorities believe Sundara’s actions were justified.