HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – A security guard at STEM School Highlands Ranch – who fired on a sheriff’s deputy and injured a student during the shooting in May – shouldn’t have been carrying a gun in the first place.
According to an open-records request by The Colorado Sun, the school specifically asked to hire an unarmed guard. The Sun shared the records with CBS4.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, security guard Shamson Sundara was hailed as a hero for helping apprehend one of the gunmen.
“He acted bravely, heroically. His actions helped protect lives,” Sundara’s attorney Robert Burk told CBS4 Investigative Reporter Brian Maass just days after the shooting.
Burk dismissed reports, at the time, that Sundara accidentally shot a student.
“He did everything he could to try to stop what was happening.”
Sundara is a former Marine and former Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy. He is currently under investigation and could face criminal charges. What has never come out, until now, is he should not have had a concealed gun on him that day.
In emails obtained by The Colorado Sun, the school’s director told Sundara’s employer – Boss High Level Security – “We do not want an armed guard at this point.”
The company’s sales representative replied, “We can do unarmed at $26.00/hour.”
The school told The Sun it requested an unarmed guard because the school has elementary as well as high school aged kids.
“Given the diverse population at our school, we made the decision to request an unarmed guard in an effort to balance these different interests.” The school went on to say “STEM was not aware that the guard provided by Boss was armed” until after the shooting.
It says it didn’t say something sooner because it didn’t want to interfere with the investigation into the guard’s actions that day.
STEM school no longer contracts with Boss Security because of the ongoing investigation. It says it now has a full-time school resource officer and new full-time private security, but it would not say if the new guards are armed citing the school’s “need to keep information about its security programs and protocols moving forward private.”
Sundara’s attorney told CBS4 he had no comment because of the ongoing investigation.