Credit: Anna Vignet/Reveal

A man hospitalized after being shot by a Sacramento, California, security guard outside a 7-Eleven store now is suing the guard and his prior employer, claiming the guard used excessive force.

The violent encounter occurred in February, when armed guard Dustin Arlis White spotted Sulman Hafeez urinating on the side of the building. White approached Hafeez and told him to leave. When he refused, White responded by taking Hafeez to the ground to arrest him for trespassing. You can watch the surveillance camera footage here.

According to Fox 40 news, Hafeez’ attorney, Matthew Eason, acknowledges that his client was drunk and should not have urinated on the wall. However, he told Fox 40: “The mace attack … when you look at how he shakes the mace … he’s prepared to mace him before there’s even an event.”

What happened next occurred outside the view of surveillance cameras. In an incident report he wrote, White said Hafeez began fighting him. That prompted White to use his pepper spray once and his stun gun three times, he said.

But it didn’t stop Hafeez, White wrote. He said Hafeez began bashing his head into the roots of a nearby tree.

“It is at this time that I am in fear of my life,” White wrote. “I was pinned down and unable to subdue the inebriated man by any means.”

White shot Hafeez once in the stomach, then immediately handcuffed him and called police.

Hafeez is facing criminal charges for battering White. White’s former employer, Cal Force Security, voluntarily surrendered its license in April. However, White was not charged with a crime and continued to work as a security guard.

In June, according to news reports, White was involved in another shooting. Two people were shot in an exchange of gunfire between White and an unknown person.

According to news reports, Sacramento police were investigating whether White was justified in the second shooting.

A previous investigation by Reveal found that the state Bureau of Security and Investigative Services has at times failed to thoroughly investigate shootings, allowing guards who misused their guns to keep their licenses and their jobs. At a subsequent hearing, state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, said he was concerned that guards are able to continue working following shootings.

“If there’s a police officer that’s in a shooting, they go on desk duty. They are removed from duty pending the outcome of an investigation. And that doesn’t occur here,” he said. “Those individuals can continue to go about their business without a suspension.”

Although he still is licensed to work as an armed security guard, White now works as a carpenter, according to news reports.

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Shoshana Walter was a senior reporter and producer at Reveal, covering the criminal justice and child welfare systems. She's working on a book for Simon & Schuster about the failures of our country's addiction treatment system. At Reveal, she reported on exploitative drug rehab programs that require participants to work without pay, armed security guards, and sex abuse and trafficking in the marijuana industry. Her reporting has prompted new laws, numerous class-action lawsuits and government investigations. Her stories have been named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, Selden Ring and National Magazine Awards. She has also been honored with the Livingston Award for National Reporting, the IRE medal, the Edward R. Murrow award, the Knight Award for Public Service, a Loeb Award and Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative reporting. Her Reveal podcast, "American Rehab," was named one of the best podcasts of the year by The New Yorker and The Atlantic and prompted a congressional investigation.

Walter began her career as a police reporter for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida, and previously covered violent crime and the politics of policing in Oakland, California, for The Bay Citizen. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she has been a Dart Center Ochberg fellow for journalism and trauma at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim fellow in criminal justice journalism. She is a fellow with the Watchdog Writers Group at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and is based in Oakland, California.