Security guard grateful for life after Tampa nightclub shooting: ‘We were in a full-blown firefight’

A security guard was shot at a Tampa nightclub an hour before his shift ended, and the bullet is still lodged in his arm. He is, nevertheless, grateful to be alive.

Caleb Kirby is in a sling after being shot at Chica’s Cabaret in Tampa at 5 a.m.

Suspects are still being sought by the Tampa Police Department.

“The bullet entered about half an inch below the center of my elbow, it hit bone directly, shattered part of that bone, and fractured my arm, down my forearm,” Kirby told CNN.

He claimed that an argument began inside the club over a married woman.

“We had a guy come outside, and start yelling, he was yelling racial slurs, cussing us out,” said Kirby. “We told him, hey man, it’s time to go, and he didn’t like it.” He told us he had something for us and everyone inside and ran to his car.”

He followed the man who was threatening his car and discovered he had a pistol.

“Before we could think anything over, we were in a full-blown firefight,” said Kirby.

Kirby stated that his pistol jammed during the exchange.

“I went to get behind a vehicle to clear that jam and once I was mid-racking the pistol to clear the jam and I took the round to the arm,” he told reporters.

Kirby claims that after yelling that he had been shot, the shooter and his friend, who was driving, jumped in the car and sped away.

“As far as I’m concerned, we did our job, we did it really good, because we kept the guy in the back of the parking lot,” said Kirby. “If me taking a round to the arm means nobody else inside gets hurt, or killed, that’s a price I can live with.”

Kirby stated that he did not recognize the shooter but was informed that he was a regular at the club.

“I do hope they catch this man and I hope he gets the punishment he deserves,” he was quoted as saying.

The guard expressed gratitude to the men he works with for allowing him to return home to his wife and infant child.

“Our job at the end of the day, we are hired to go there and protect those people from potentially being on the next headline for a mass shooting,” he went on to say.

The police are appealing to the public for assistance.

Officers characterized the shooter as a Caucasian or Hispanic person with likely blonde hair who was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt and a Bass Pro cap. The driver is described as a Hispanic man in his 20s, 175 pounds, 5’08”, with short dark hair and a tattoo on his neck.

The PD described the car as a mid-size dark SUV of unknown make and model, with stock features. The suspect car drove north on N. Grady Ave.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Tampa Police Department at 813-231-6130, submit a tip via Tip411, or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).

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