‘This Could’ve Gotten Ugly’: Footage Shows Unarmed Security Guard Wrestle Gunman Down and Save Buffalo Drug Treatment Facility

Days before “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” raked in a whopping $330 million worldwide at the box office, another hero emerged, possessing the same level of self-less courage that the characters in the Marvel franchise.

Buffalo security guard unarms gunman
Buffalo security guard unarms gunman entering treatment facility (Surveillance video screengrab)

This hero, a Black man from Buffalo, not Wakanda, saved a building full of unsuspecting constituents from an erratic, suspected drugged addict barging in with an AR-15, doing so without a suit, a title, or eating a purple herb.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, the Buffalo Police Department released surveillance footage of an armed security guard at the Alba De Vida Substance Abuse Treatment Center on 254 Virginia Street on the West Side of Buffalo, New York, tackling down a gunman who threatened to shoot up the facility on Thursday, Nov. 10.

Gunshots were let off first but that did not stop the guard from disarming the attacker.

Jeffery Griffin, a 48-year-old white man from Williamsville, New York, was apprehended inside the vestibule by the unnamed security guard, who fearlessly stopped him from going further inside.

The gunman has been charged with a number of felonies, including attempted murder.

After pushing him back and at some point, wrapping the firearm around his neck, he was able to drag the man outside. Once outside, he was helped by another guard who supported him in restraining the gunman until the police arrived.

NPR reports there is additional security footage from outside the clinic which shows the two guards wrestling Griffin to the ground. Once the gunman is leveled, two bystanders help take the semiautomatic weapon from him.

Officers say at least two more rounds were fired during the struggle, but no one was injured.

Others were in the front area, presumably workers and patients, but quickly retreated to safety. No one was injured in the clinic.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn saluted the security guards’ fearlessness and ability to step in without question, noting the suspect may have been linked to an earlier shooting where a woman was reportedly shot in the leg as she sat in her Pennsylvania Street home, less than two miles away from the clinic, CBS News reports.  

She was later taken to Erie County Medical Center and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

“This could’ve gotten ugly really quick,” Flynn said. “Due to the quick action — quite frankly heroic in my opinion — by the two security officers, no one got hurt there.” The footage shows the altercation lasted 32 seconds.

Griffin was not alone in the Pennsylvania shooting. A second suspect allegedly connected to the first shooting has been arrested by BPD.

According to law enforcement, neither of the attacks were planned, and seemed to be attempted robberies “tied to drug activity.”

“[Both shootings] were an attempted robbery seeking what we believe to be drugs,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. “There was, at this point, no other motive other than an attempted robbery.”

A statement was given by the nonprofit Acacia Network, which runs Promesa Inc., by Gabriela González, assistant vice president of communications and development, which said, “The Acacia Network commends the tremendous bravery of our employees, who immediately sprang into action and averted a possible tragedy. We are proud of the safety and security measures we have in place, including our dedicated security personnel.”

The security guard, who initially risked his life, has not been revealed. Like most superheroes, he rose to the occasion, saved the day, and went back to work as

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