White security guard charged after pulling gun on Black Sheriff’s deputy at IRS Office

An Ohio security guard was charged with aggravated menacing after he pulled a gun on a sheriff’s deputy at an IRS office.

What We Know:

  • Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy, Alan Gaston, was in his full uniform with his badge and gun visible when he entered the IRS office in Toledo. Gaston, who was on duty, said he stopped by the building on May 31 to inquire about a letter he received from the IRS when Seth Eklund, a guard for the building, told Gaston he had to put his gun in his car. Gaston said he couldn’t do that, and the conversation escalated to the point Eklund pulled his gun on Gaston.
  • The deputy says he thought the best way to de-escalate the situation was to walk away, according to Newsweek. In the security footage of the incident, Eklund can be seen following Gaston to the elevator with his gun pointed at Gaston’s back, “and, it appears, his finger is very close to the trigger,” WTVG Channel 13 reported. Eklund unsuccessfully tried to take Gaston into custody.
  • “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,” Gaston told the news outlet.
  • After a 911 call was made from inside the IRS office, police arrived. The caller reportedly never mentioned that the armed person in the building was a uniformed deputy sheriff trying to exit the building. On Monday, Eklund pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance since the incident in May.
  • “I would say clearly your training is lacking and the fact that you went 0 to 100. Lethal force is unacceptable,” said Gaston who is currently on medical leave from his job.

Gaston has filed a civil lawsuit against Eklund and the security company that hired him. He is seeking compensation for emotional and psychological distress and lost wages.