Rochester, N.Y.— A security guard at an apartment building at 35 Chestnut Street has been charged with first degree assault. The charge stems from a shooting around 10 p.m. Friday night.
Many tenants and the building’s owners say the charges are unjustified.
According to witnesses, a drunk man was arguing with a tenant in front of the apartments. The security guard, Felix Cruz-Romero, came out and told Paul Ravenel to leave. Ravenel then allegedly pulled out a knife. When he dropped it, Cruz-Romero picked it up and went inside. Witnesses say Ravenel yelled, “I’m going to get my hammer!” as he started to walk away.
Police arrived at the scene. The security guard gave them the knife and explained what happened. No arrest was made.
Thirty minutes later and after police left the scene, Ravenel came back to the building. Witnesses say he was wearing a hoodie over his head and was holding a black bag. He approached the door of the apartment.
“I heard ‘Don't move! Don't move!’ and I hear the gunshots,” says witness Ryan Jumper. “The guy was approaching [the security guard]. He was coming towards him. The dude's confronting him. The security guard is telling him ‘Don't move! Freeze!’.”
Ravenel was shot and taken to Strong Memorial Hospital where he is in guarded condition.
Police arrested and charged security guard Cruz-Romero with first degree assault. The building’s management company and several tenants say the security guard should not have been arrested.
"He was doing his job,” says Robert Rodgers, a tenant in the building. “He was doing it for the security for himself and everyone else that lives here. The guy could have shot everyone that was standing out here. No one knew what he had."
The management company says the security guard is a former police officer. The company plans on pressing charges against Ravenel for trespassing.