Florida Security Guard Accidentally Shoots Himself

Jan. 10--LAKEWOOD RANCH -- A security guard patrolling a new shopping and entertainment district in a pickup accidentally shot himself in the left thigh.

But some confusion over what happened Monday initially had deputies looking for a gunman who fled the scene in another truck.

"The original call was that a white male in his 40s driving a silver Nissan Frontier shot him," Sgt. Larry Andress with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.

Sheriff's officials identified the security guard as Paul Joseph Golding, 21, of Sarasota, employed by Shield Security.

He was patrolling Lakewood Ranch's Main Street just before noon, when emergency officials received a call from a restaurant employee that Golding had been shot.

Main Street recently opened its doors and only a handful of businesses are open at this time.

Golding parked his truck in front of the yet-to-be-open Cafe Mediteraneo, then walked across the street to the Grey Flannel Gallery, a sports memorabilia store, and asked for help.

"He was walking just fine and it didn't seem like he was in a lot of pain," said store owner Howard Rosenkrantz.

Neither Rosenkrantz nor several workers in front of the yet-to-open McAllister's Deli next door said they heard a gun shot.

Golding "was moving his firearm from one side of his body to the other when it discharged," according to a news release.

Golding is a licensed security officer. The Florida Agricultural and Consumer Services Web site states administrative action is pending on his license. The Web site gives a March 10, 2007, expiration date and also lists a Bradenton mailing address for Golding. His driver's license has a Sarasota address.

Golding is not licensed to carry a firearm, according to the state Web site.

As of Monday evening, Golding was not being charged with any crime, according to Sheriff's Detective Bobby E. Lewis. Lewis did say it was possible Golding may be charged with giving false information or for possession of a firearm.

Mark Verhay, owner of Shield Security, was tight-lipped about the incident.

"It depends on the division of licensing and the results of the conducted investigation," Verhay said.

Golding has worked for the company for six months, Verhay said.

One bullet from a black, semi-automatic gun was located on the brick sidewalk about 25 feet from Golding's silver Nissan pickup truck, owned by Shields Security. A bullet hole was located halfway down the driver's door. The bullet exited a couple of inches below the interior door lock.

The gun did not have a safety, according to Lewis.

Officials questioned Golding's initial story because of the bullet hole's location.

"It looks like the shooting came from the inside of the vehicle," said Andress as he inspected the vehicle. "Stuff is really not adding up."

Golding was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released from the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, according to the center's patient information personnel.

Rob Pack, of Floor Solutions, was working at Sunglass Express when he heard the gunshot.

"It was just before noon and there wasn't any commotion and no one else was around," Pack said.

Lakewood Ranch resident Angie Heuser was shopping with her two sons, Colby, 3, and Peyton, 18 months, when she stumbled upon the crime scene tape. The shooting had not yet been ruled accidental.

"It doesn't seem like something that would happen here, at least I hope it wouldn't," Heuser said.

<<Bradenton Herald, The (FL) (KRT) -- 01/11/06>>