Security Experts Discuss Shooting at Nightclub Special Event


Event Safety Expert WitnessThis crowd management case involves a music event for an acclaimed DJ at a club in downtown Los Angeles. Alcohol was served at the event, which hosted over 100 event attendees, however there were relatively few members of the club’s staff present and a minimal security presence. The security check at the door was conducted by two security guards who reportedly did not pat down the legs of customers or use a metal detector. Subsequently, a man was able to bring a gun into the club. Two hours after the event started, the man shot another guest in the shoulder in an unprovoked act. It was alleged that the event attendee screening and in-club security were insufficient.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What experience do you have working or managing security for closed settings?
  • 2. What type(s) of screening can reasonably be expected in this situation?
  • 3. Is a security team sufficient with the number of attendees and alcohol service?

Expert Witness Response E-055920

Expert-ID: E-055920

I have over 15 years in event security and risk management, both domestically and internationally. The philosophy and strategy for event security are more holistic, as opposed to being constrained to a particular setting. Security screening is determined by a risk based approach and considers many factors, including demographics/crowd profile, previous issues/risk profile, whether guests are known/ticketed, etc. Based on my experience and industry standards, I would suggest robust access control measures (tickets & ID verification), bag checks, and pre-determined procedures for responsible service of alcohol and actions on non-compliant guests. If a Special Event Application was submitted, then there are certain requirements to meet (e.g. submit security plan to the jurisdictional police department).

Expert Witness Response E-068198

I’ve been managing event and nightlife security in closed settings since 2005. In an event similar to this case you would likely do pat downs to search for weapons, outside liquor, and other illicit substances. Wanding may or may not be done, depending on the event. Generally, for a space similar to the one described above you would have 1 guard per floor plus a rover/supervisor for a total of 3. For events with alcohol service in a “club” atmosphere, the standard ratio is 50:1 to 75:1 plus accounting for the layout of the club. The standard of operating procedures and scope is universal.

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