A surveillance camera in an IRS office in Ohio captured the horrifying moment a Black sheriff’s deputy in uniform had a gun pulled on him by a white security guard.
On May 31, Lucas County Sheriff's deputy Alan Gaston, who was on duty, stopped by a Toledo IRS office to ask a question about a letter he received. When Deputy Gaston arrived at the office, security guard Seth Eklund told him he needed to put his gun in the car.
When Gaston explained he couldn’t leave his service weapon unattended in his car while he was on duty, the security guard pulled out his own gun.
As Gaston walked out of the office with a gun pointed at his back, he prepared himself for the worst.
"Basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment. Bracing for a shot in my back," Gaston told WTVG about the moment.
Footage from a security camera shows the guard follow Gaston out of the office and to the elevator. From the video, it appears the security guard had his finger close to the trigger.
Gaston, who also works as a defensive tactics instructor, said he felt the best way to de-escalate the situation was to just walk away.
"There's really no way to know how you're going to act when there's a gun pointed at you and when you think you're going to lose your life," said Gaston.
At some point during the incident, someone called 911 to say there was a man with a gun in the office. At no point did the caller from the IRS office tell the 911 dispatcher the man with the gun was a uniformed deputy sheriff.
Gaston and his wife have now filed a civil lawsuit against Eklund and the security company. The couple is seeking an unspecified amount for the emotional and physical trauma Gaston suffered. They are also seeking damages for the wages Gaston lost since going on a medical leave from the Lucas County Sheriff's department.
When it comes to Eklund, the guard who pulled his gun, Gaston believes he is need of more training.
"I would say, ‘Clearly your training is lacking and the fact that you went 0 to 100. Lethal force is unacceptable," Gaston told the local news station..
Eklund is now facing one charge of aggravated menacing. He's set to be in court next week.
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