CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A security guard shot at work inside a Mecklenburg County building said a minor disagreement led to his co-worker turning the gun on him.

That security guard spoke exclusively with Queen City News, saying he’s thankful no one else other than security was on site at the Valerie C. Woodard Center on Freedom Drive when the shooting happened overnight Wednesday.

Families are around during the day for services, like the Department of Social Services and other county employees.

The security guard wants more screening and training for his fellow armed security officers.

Steven Owens became a security guard to help others, believing his fellow guards would have his back.

“Your co-worker is your best friend. You get in the mix, and you say, ‘I can depend on this guy,'” said Owens.

He said that wasn’t the case with Kevin Bentley. The two were working at the Woodard Center overnight Wednesday.

Owens said they disagreed over the phone about how to do the job. He didn’t think much of it until he came out of the security office and was cornered by Bentley and another guy.

“You put a gun to my head, which is crazy. There’s no need for that, and we work together,” said Owens. “There’s no excuse for that, and my hands are empty.”

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Owens said they wouldn’t let him get away, and his co-worker punched him in the head.

“I take the shot, I’m like, ‘Why you hitting me?’ So I’m still trying to get away,” said Owens. “Mr. Bentley takes a step back, draws the weapon; he shoots me in my leg; unarmed, defenseless, he shoots me for no reason.”

Owens said Bentley then held the gun to his head. He was able to get away only after he gave the men his gun.

“I’m just dumbfounded. I said, ‘These idiots. Give me your weapon,’ I said, ‘You have to push the thumb brake down.’ They couldn’t get the weapon out because they’re not skilled and trained. I said, ‘Push the thumb brake down, you got the weapon, here’s the clips, let me go!” said Owens.

CMPD arrested Bentley for shooting Owens, but he’s already out of jail.

Mecklenburg County said neither man will work contract security with the county going forward.

Mecklenburg County released the following statement to Queen City News:

Overnight, an incident occurred between two contract security guards working at the Valerie C. Woodard Center. There were no County employees present. 

During this incident, a firearm was discharged, and one guard was injured. The two guards involved in this incident were immediately removed from the property and will no longer work on the County contract. 

AFM Security is working with the vendor to determine additional actions that might be required to mitigate such incidents in the future. No County employees were involved, and the facility is secure this morning.