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Security guards, like one suspected of murder, have training for licensing

SALT LAKE CITY – Security guards, like the one suspected of killing a homeless man in downtown Salt Lake early Wednesday, are required to receive training and licensing before they can work protecting clients in Utah.

Salt Lake City police accused Timothy Lukes of shooting a homeless man, Thomas Stanfield, twice in the back. Stanfield did not survive.

The shooting happened during a confrontation between the Wells and Walker state office buildings near 140 East 300 South in the overnight hours. Lukes was working security at the offices and had told Stanfield to leave the properties, as the grounds were closed to the public at the time.

Jail booking documents said Lukes told police that Stanfield attacked him, took him to the ground and attempted to steal his gun. However, detectives reviewed surveillance camera video that showed Stanfield attempting to walk away from Lukes before he was shot.

“When one of them retreats from combat, the self-defense statute no longer applies,” defense attorney Greg Skordas said. Skordas is not representing Lukes and spoke to KSL in the role of a legal expert.

Utah’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing requires security guards to undergo training as a condition of their license. Private security companies must provide employees at least 30 hours of instruction, including with firearms.

That’s far less than is necessary to become a certified law enforcement officer.

“This training is maybe a tenth or a twentieth of what a law enforcement officer would go through at Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST),” Skordas said.

Lukes is jailed on suspicion of homicide.