Guard Questions Dismissal

A metro security guard became an unwelcome hero after an incident involving a man with a gun at a mall.

The incident happened months before the deadly gunfire at Westroads.

Vince Busey confronted an armed man in the mall and Oak View's former security chief believes that cost him his job.

"I got fired for saving a life," Vince says.

In June 2006, a customer in the parking lot saw a suspicious man headed into the mall.

Brandon Stigge was a security officer on duty that day and he says, "A customer saw him (the suspect) grab a gun, put it in his waistband."

Stigge tells us the suspect reportedly said "I'm going to go shoot somebody."

Stigge got off the escalator just in time to help his boss, Vince Busey, subdue the man who was carrying a concealed handgun. Mall guards are not armed.

"That's when I grabbed his wrist," Vince says.

Mall security seized 17 rounds of ammo, a handgun, a hunting knife and a throwing star. The armed man was believed to have been at the mall to threaten an ex-girlfriend.

After the incident, police were called to take away the weapons and the 21-year-old suspect but the mall's security chief got more than a pat on the back from his boss.

Vince Busey tells us, "My regional said 'good job.' Then the next day he said 'you're suspended.'"

After that Vince was fired from a position he held for 16 years.

His employer, Valor Security, gave Channel 6 news this one-line statement: "We can confirm Mr. Busey was terminated in 2006 because of his overall job performance."

Busey claims it's because he didn't just follow but confronted a suspected armed man before calling police.

He says, "If we hadn't done something and somebody was harmed that day I couldn't live with myself."

The assisting guard wasn't fired.

Now in another line of work, Busey misses the days he helped protect mall customers though he never sued over his firing. He says he has no regrets for confronting an armed man in the mall while he, himself, was unarmed.

Vince says, "I was there to make a difference, to make it safe and make people feel safe. So I guess that means I'd do it again."

The suspect Busey apprehended pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon. He served 15 days in jail. The judge ordered the gun and knives to be destroyed.