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Security guard speaks after a close encounter with a gunman at the Hispanics United of Buffalo

Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-14 17:31:13-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Doors are reopened Monday at the Hispanics United of Buffalo after several have faced a chilling close call of a gunman stepping into the methadone clinic with what police say was an AR-15.

Security guard of the clinic Reynaldo Beckford tells 7 News reporter Yoselin Person he sprang into action after seeing the person with a rifle.

"My back was turned to the door, and when I turned, I saw in the corner of my eye I saw was the person and the rifle," Beckford says. "At that moment, I couldn't believe what was happening, especially when he let off the first shot, and that's when I knew that something was definitely wrong."

Reynaldo says he has worked in the security industry for more than 20 years, and when he had a close encounter with the gunman, he was in survival mode.

"When I had him and the rifle, I started saying Jesus Jesus Jesus, and that's when he turned back," the security guard says. "He stopped fighting for a while, and that's when the other security guard started coming down the stairs."

Reynaldo says the gunman wouldn't take his finger off the trigger, so everyone had to put up a fight.

In a video, it shows the suspect was being tackled, and his gun was taken away by what Reynaldo says, a janitor who works at the facility.

"I would be lying if I say to you I wasn't scared for my life and the first thing that flashed over my brain was my baby who just turned three years old," Reynaldo says.

The security guard says he doesn't want to label himself a hero, instead a man just doing his job.

"Because that's the business I'm in," he says. "To save and protect, and that's exactly what I did."

District Attorney John Flynn says the suspect, 48-year-old Jeremy Griffin, is facing several charges.

"Two security guards and two civilians who, in my mind, took nothing less than a heroic action," Flynn says. "They did not worry about the safety of themselves. They were concerned about the safety of the people who were around them."

Reynaldo says he'll consider seeking therapy, and the clinic is looking into increasing security.

"Nobody lost their life, nobody got hurt, and to God be the glory, what else can I say," he says.