"No Trespassing" signs are clearly visible throughout the perimeter at Ritchie Trucking Services in southwest Fresno. But officials representing the company say the signs weren't enough to keep out Morris Linder.
"This particular person has been seen a couple times earlier that day, driving back and forth along the property and was kind of suspicious," said Poncho Baker, attorney for Ritchie Trucking.
Authorities say the on-duty security officer guarding the premises was approached by Linder Monday night. Detectives say Linder had been living in his car and ran out of gas. He asked the 26-year-old guard for money and to use his cell phone. "After using the phone, he threw it into the yard belonging to the trucking company. At that point, that escalated the disturbance," said Mark Salazar with the Fresno Police Dept.
Investigators say Linder then hit the guard in the face. "They went to the ground, he was on top of him, hitting him and at that point the security guard felt threatened with his life," said Salazar.
Then the security guard told police he pulled out his gun and shot Linder in the upper body, 4 times. When police arrived on scene, they found two people on the ground. "The security guard was on his back. His cell phone, his radio were next to him. It looked like he just went through a significant fight and he was complaining of pain in his arm.
Linder died at the scene. The security guard has a broken arm. His identity has not been released.
The owner of Falcon Private Security would not go on camera but said the security guard has been with the company for almost 2 years, was in good standing and licensed to carry a firearm.
He's not expected to be charged with any crime. "It's not closed yet. We still have more work to do but it looks like it will be justifiable self-defense shooting by the security guard," said Salazar.
Police are also checking to see if Linder was under the influence of any drugs. They received reports that Linder was a heavy meth user.