MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police say a young man is dead after fighting with a security guard outside a Twin Cities club.
It happened at Stargate in Maplewood just before 1:00 a.m. Friday. The shooting victim is 20-year-old Chou Tony Yang of St. Paul.
Police say the security guard was being attacked by several men outside the club when Yang was shot.
Surveillance video from a nearby business shows the parking lot outside Stargate early Friday morning. The video shows the man, believed to be the 28-year old security guard, running from a group of men outside the Maplewood nightclub. In the video, he falls and about six men surround him.
“Ultimately, he was down on the ground. He was being punched and kicked by a group of men,” said Chief Paul Schnell of the Maplewood Police Department.
Police say the security guard fired his gun several times into the crowd, ultimately shooting Yang several times. While Yang lay in the parking lot, the fight wasn’t over. Instead of running off, the group kept up the attack.
“When officers arrived, the scene was quite out of control,” Schnell said.
What’s not clear in the video is what happened in the moments before the attack. Police know the shooting victim was asked to leave the nightclub because he was underage.
“We know words were exchanged between the man who was shot and one of the security guards,” Schnell said.
Authorities say what happened during that confrontation could have an impact on the investigation. Police will try to determine if the group was provoked by the security guard or if the club goers instigated the fight. The answer could determine how many arrests police make in the future.
“We need to know exactly what happened between those men and the security guard that prompted them to chase him,” Schnell said. “That’s a key aspect of this investigation.”
Police say the security guard is cooperating with investigators. He was questioned and released. The nightclub hired the armed security guards from JBM patrol and Protection Services in Edina. The company released a statement Friday afternoon.
“All of us at JBM Patrol & Protection Corporation are saddened by the incident at the Stargate Nightclub in Maplewood early this morning,” the statement read. “We are committed to cooperating fully with the Maplewood Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.”
The 28-year-old officer who was attacked joined JBM in 2012. He has been released from the hospital and is recovering. In the past three years, the officer has received extensive tactical, firearms and use-of-force training and has an exemplary employment record.”While this morning’s incident is a tragedy, our officer followed the proper procedure when his own life was threatened,” a JBM spokesperson said in the statement.
JBM Patrol has been providing armed protective and patrol services since 1990, employing more than 300 security guards across the Midwest — some armed. The company says this is the first time in 25 years that a JBM officer has discharged a weapon on duty.