As a hostile termination security consultant, I had to assume the subject was armed.
Finding the pistol box was especially alarming from a hostile termination security point of view. The subject did not have a CCW, nor was he known to own any kind of firearms for recreational purposes.
From a hostile termination security point of view, the recent acquisition of a weapon may have been in response to the perceived threat of being terminated and evicted.
According to the company owner, the relationship had been going downhill for some time and the subject may have been well aware that action was about to be taken against him. That’s why the owner decided to hire a hostile termination security consultant.
The last thing I needed was a replay of the Accent Signage incident in Minnesota and him pulling a gun in response to the termination and eviction.
Had he owned and/or carried a gun before this issue came up, I would have been cautious but thought far less of it because it was within his behavioral norms. It was the fact that he had recently went out and bought a gun, that he was illegally carrying, and moved into the office when the relationship between him and the owner had gone South that concerned me.
In my opinion as a hostile termination security consultant, it was as though he had become an armed squatter!
My response was to immediately have the owner’s wife finish up her inventory and get her out of the office before the subject returned. I then advised the owner that we now had to assume the subject was armed. My hostile termination security detail was now turning into a personal security detail for the owner and his family.
At that point, the company owner decided to back off on the termination and let the landlord know what was going on.
The landlord, who shared office space in the same building, had already been approached by the subject. The landlord did not want to take sides and insisted that the company owner obtain a court order to evict the subject, as he was on the lease agreement.
The landlord was concerned that he might get sued and wanted any removal of the subject to take place through the courts. After some argument over that decision between the company owner and the landlord, we decided to head back to the family’s residence where the next move could be decided.
Although by no means a decisive indicator, no threats had been made at this point by the employee who was to be terminated. After the incident in the office, the subject contacted the owner of the company several times asking to talk.
Requesting to “talk” by the subject who has been terminated is fairly common. Their goal is either hoping to manipulate the employer into rethinking their decision to terminate, and/or to bait the employer into saying something that could be used later in court.
Nowadays, many people know how to download a simple app for their phone that will record a conversation. Once the decision has been made, and especially when a hostile termination security provider has been hired, I always advise an employer to have no unscheduled contact with the former employee.
Check out Hostile Termination Security – Part III to find out what happened next!