A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Man Fired For Righteously Bearing Arms

Jacksonville, Florida--------When a neighbor screamed she'd been shot, Colin Bruley grabbed his shotgun, found the victim and began treating her bloodied right leg. Tonnetta Lee survived Tuesday's pre-dawn shooting at her Jacksonville apartment, and her sister and a neighbor praised Bruley's actions. But his employers, the same people who own the Arlington complex where Bruley lives, reacted differently. Colin BruleyThey fired him.

Bruley, a leasing agent at the Oaks at Mill Creek, said he lost his job after being told that brandishing the weapon was a workplace violation, as was failing to notify supervisors after the incident occurred. He'd worked at the Monument Road complex since December and for the owner, Village Green Cos., since 2005. Bruley said he was too shaken to call his supervisor immediately after the incident, which occurred just before 2 a.m., but planned to eventually do so. He also said he was acting as a citizen, not an employee, and shouldn't have been punished for trying to protect himself and others. He never fired the shotgun.

"I was expecting work to give me some kind of commendation," said Bruley, 24. "I was totally blown back. It was a crisis that most people don't go through."

Andrea Roebker, the company's director of public relations, said "We're not in a position to discuss any employment issues outside of [with] the employee. She declined to comment further, citing confidentiality rules.

A complaint Bruley said was given to him by his supervisor Tuesday said he violated several company policies found in an employee handbook. Colin's ShotgunThose procedures were also explained in a recent meeting and an e-mail, the complaint said. One policy prohibits any type of weapons being used in the workplace. The complaint cited him for "gross misconduct." "Colin demonstrated extremely poor judgment in responding to this situation," the complaint said. "Colin's failure to immediately report this incident ... could have serious ramifications to the property, its associates and residents."

A police report said the shooting followed a domestic quarrel involving Lee, 24, and her boyfriend. Bruley said he was dozing off in his apartment when he heard Lee's screams. He said he then grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun he uses for protection and hunting. Bruley said he found the woman bleeding heavily. He handed the shotgun to a neighbor, tied a tourniquet around her right leg and waited for police and rescue to arrive.

"I was kind of in a state of shock. I had blood all over my body," Bruley said. After emergency officials took Lee to the hospital, Bruley returned to his apartment and tried to settle down, eventually falling asleep. He said he could have called his supervisor but didn't think she could do anything at the time. He said he was called into the office about 9:30 a.m., gave his account and then left. He said he was called back that afternoon and told he was fired.

Neighbor Kevin Courson joined Bruley at the crime scene when he saw Bruley had a gun for protection. Courson said he is incensed by the dismissal. "Here was a guy trying to do a good deed. He wasn't trying to hurt nobody," said Courson, 31.

Erica Jenkins, Lee's sister, said Bruley should still have a job. Lee couldn't be reached to comment despite several messages left with her sister and mother. "If it wasn't for him ... she could have lost her leg or died," said Jenkins, 19. "He put his life in jeopardy for someone else."

Bruley said he is considering contacting a lawyer about his dismissal, but will first look for another job and possibly another home. He promises he won't shy away from aiding others in need. "If I'd lose my job again for helping some girl's life ... I'd do it over and over," Bruley said.

jim.schoettler@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4385

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Blogger Hyunchback said...

This is one where the NRA should offer their lawyers.

It has several reasons for this. First, this is clearly a 2nd Amendment violation. He was bearing a shotgun. Shotguns are used today by the military. He was bearing it in defense of life and limb (literally) of an innocent person.

Second workplace rules that exceed reasonable limitations. He was not on duty. He was in or near his place of residence. That the two are the same is not relevant. The employer must grant him privacy in his place of residence unless they can show he signed away all rights to privacy. His "brandishing" was with a lawful purpose. Was he "brandishing" by moving the gun into his residence? How about when he left to go hunting or to the range with it?

He did not take the shotgun for unlawful purposes on the night in question and therefor the employer is demonstrating a phobia. I'm not aware of anyone's phobia being granted a trump card to Constitutional rights.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Oregonian said...

This young man is a hero. I can only hope I would act with the same intelligent bravery in that situation. You have seconds to think in a crisis. You must act on instinct.

The Oaks at Mill Creek had hours to think over their choice. They had the whole night. And they made as cowardly a decision as his was brave.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No good deed goes unpunished.
Sounds like he was working for a bunch of A-holes anyway.
This happened to a cab driver in Miami several years ago after he killed his attacker. The cabby had a LOT of job offers and eneded up in a better situation after his fireing was publized.
I wish him all the best.
He didd a good thing.

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Senior Property Manager I have to deal with things I never dreamed of, drunks, drug dealers and users, loud and inconsiderate people, people who throw their household garbage, maggots and all on the floor, and of course threats on my life. I could go on and on, on the subject of property management. I conceal carry every day, and it was my police officers, who we provide an apartment in exchange for their working for us as off duty security personnel that encouraged me to get my concealed carry permit, and also pointed out that it doesn’t do any good not to have my weapon on or near me 24-7. Rob is a victim of a politically correct property management company, one that is more concerned about being sued or of appearing poorly to the liberal press and public. His termination was of course in my opinion incorrect, and I would never take away my employee’s lawful use, ownership, of firearms or any lawfully owned weapon. It is not only unfair to put someone in this position but again my opinion unlawful under the second amendment. But we all know how much politicians respect the law. Rob this was a blessing in disguises, this company cares nothing for you, and has shown its true colors. Go forth and be assured you can find an employer who will not only respect you, but the true laws of this nation.

11:23 AM  

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