Omaha security guard’s murder renews calls for training, legislation

The murder of an Omaha security guard has other professionals renewing calls for training.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 4:18 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The killing of a part-time security guard in Omaha has the owner of a security company calling for change.

Gom Gout was trying to keep the peace, working as a security guard for a Capitol District bar when he was shot and killed trying to break up a fight outside of the establishment where he worked. His brother worked as a guard at the same bar. He tells 6 News they both had no training to protect themselves or break up a fight.

“We didn’t have nothing,” said Shol Gout. “Nothing at all, just our there and do our job, nothing at all.”

Qasim Shabazz is a trained security guard. He showed 6 News the tools of the trade. He’s also armed with a firearm. He tells us his organization also trains security guards.

“We actually have training classes for our security team, where we work on the hand-to-hand, we work on the lethal and non-lethal processes,” Shabazz said.

He says his training and his gear are important. He believes with no training, Gout was put in a terrible situation.

“Unprepared...probably didn’t have a whole lot of experience and wasn’t brought into it understanding what could possibly happen,” Shabazz said.

According to a 2021 study published by the National Association of Security Companies, Nebraska is one of a number of states without requirements for unarmed or armed security guards.

Air Force veteran Gerard Christian owns the 300 Protective Group. His company provides trained security for venues around the metro. He says having the proper gear is important -- but proper training is the key to keeping everyone safe. He believes Nebraska lawmakers should make training a requirement for all security guards in the state.

“I do believe there needs to be something passed, basically connecting security officers with some type of formalized training, state-provided, something basically any company can provide,” Christian said.

Christian says having the proper gear is important, but proper training of non-lethal tactics is just as critical.

“The most valuable thing that a security officer has is verbal judo, the ability to de-escalate conflicts and things like that,” Christian said. “If you go into a situation having to pull your firearm, that’s a bad day. You don’t want that, you don’t want the civil liability for yourself. You don’t want the liability for the actual organization or the venue you’re providing security for.”

Both Shabazz and Christian say lawmakers did security guards no favors by voting for permitless carry this session.