Security guard killed after confrontation with Spokane apartment residents

A security officer doing his rounds in East Spokane was shot and killed Tuesday night after getting into a confrontation with a group of apartment residents sitting outside along their rear alley on the warm summer night.

George Hayek, 26, an officer for Securitas Security Services USA, died at the scene of the incident just before 11 p.m. He armed himself with a BB gun that looked like a semi-automatic handgun during the fatal confrontation.

The shooting occurred between a Pepsi bottling plant at 4014 E. Sprague Ave., and the Pacific Plaza Apartments, 4023 E. Pacific Ave. A witness said the security guard pulled what appeared to be a weapon and was being the aggressor.

The guard reportedly had worked at the Premera Blue Cross campus, a short distance to the west, according to employees of that company who had received an email notifying them of the death.

The witness - one of the group relaxing at the rear of the apartments - said that the victim came driving down the alley, and he and others in the group feared he was involved in some kind of unsavory activity.

"Me and some friends were sitting at the picnic table out there and this car come by rolling real slow," the witness said. He declined to give his name and added that the area has crime problems.

His companion yelled at the driver to take his business elsewhere, the witness said.

The uniformed security guard got out of his car and confronted the group. Words were exchanged, the witness said. They were separated by a chain-link fence running the length of the lot.

The guard returned to his vehicle and grabbed what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon, police said in a news release. It turned out to be a BB gun that was made to look like a semi-automatic handgun, police said.

When the man returned to confront the group, gunfire erupted.

The friend in the group pulled a gun in response to the threat and fired several rounds, striking and killing Hayek, police said. The shooter’s name was not released, and he was not arrested.

"It happened that fast," the witness said, snapping his fingers.

The shooter then jumped the fence and started CPR, the witness said.

Two police officers arrived and took over CPR until medics made it to the scene, police said.

"One minute you are sitting there minding your own business and the next thing you’re smelling gunpowder," the witness said.

Hayek had been employed with Securitas since May. A vast majority of the 100,000 Securitas employees nationwide are not armed, a company spokeswoman said.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.