Security Guard Shot Dead At Illegal San Bernardino Marijuana Dispensary
And suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a mother's wail pierces the silence.
All eyes turn from the coroner's investigators wheeling their gurney to a woman running through the parking lot.
She is a mother and on that gurney is the body of her 25 year old son.
The wail...that wail, a mournful expression of love lost. It is a sound and a scene like no other.
On the gurney, the body of Anthony Victor Pineda whom police say was working as a security guard inside an unmarked medical marijuana dispensary in San Bernardino when on Monday night two armed men trying to rob the business, shot him.
With a fire station right around the corner, firefighter-paramedics arrived on the scene quickly to help the guard, who had been shot inside the shop.
But they weren't able to get to him right away because police say the employees had locked the doors and wouldn't let the paramedics in.
They wouldn't unlock the doors for the police either.
Let me repeat that.
Police say they found the doors locked, the front door and the back door, even though the security guard who had been shot was still inside.
No one there, and the employees were still there, would unlock the doors for paramedics to get to the guard, according to police.
It wasn't until an officer broke the glass on the front door that medics were able to get to Pineda, but by that time, he was dead.
He was dead.
"It's cold hearted and callous", said Lt. Richard Lawhead of the San Bernardino Police Department. "To think that someone may be suffering, needs help and you lock the help out and refuse to open the door?"
Police believe Pineda, his car still parked outside the shop with his credentials to cover the Academy Awards on Sunday proudly displayed on his front windshield, was able to shoot at least one of the gunmen.
And because of a long and bloody trail left behind by the gunmen, they believe that man may be seriously injured.
Police also believe there is video footage from a high-tech surveillance system found inside the shop that may show who the killers are but those employees, the same ones police say locked the doors? Well, they wouldn't help the police view the video either.
"It's frustrating. To us and it's frustrating to the victim's family", said Lawhead. "If someone is out there killing people, then we want to catch them. We want to put them in jail but we can't do it alone. People know what happened here and they're being uncooperative."
Watching a mother sob uncontrollably as her son's body is driven away in the back of a coroner's truck isn't easy.
It's not comfortable nor is it pretty, as they say.
Death isn't pretty. And murder is downright ugly.
But it's part of the story because once you've heard a mother's wail, you know the killer didn't just take that young man's life.
He killed a piece of that mother too.
And who knows how many more that loved Anthony Pineda.
The killer is out there. Somewhere. And someone knows exactly who he is.
And while it appears that a lot of people didn't do the right thing last night, hopefully someone will do the right thing now.
You know what that is.
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