Only On 9: Security guard who tackled gunman at Sanford event venue speaks out

SANFORD, Fla. — More than two weeks after the Cabana Live shooting in Sanford, the man who’s credited with tackling the alleged 16-year-old shooter spoke exclusively with Channel 9.


“My ultimate goal is for me to go home and for everyone else to go home to. That’s always been a part of my job,” said BJ Brookins.

Channel 9 asked Brookins to describe what was his job at the venue.

“I usually do more inside stuff. So, I’m roaming on the inside, if I need to every now and then I’ll step in the front door check IDs, do pat-downs, things like that,” he said.

But that night, he was not responsible for checking customers’ IDs.

“I’m usually all over the place. But I wasn’t at the front door that day,” he said.

Read: Only on 9: Witness speaks about Cabana Live shooting

The incident happened just around 12:30 a.m. on April 28 and left ten people hurt, including NFL player Tank Dell, Houston Texans’ wide receiver.

According to authorities, the tragedy could have been much worse if it wasn’t for Brookins’ actions. '

“I saw the fight started and happen. As I started walking towards that situation, it’s when the young man pulled out his gun,” Brookins said. “I just instinctively I saw him, I saw the gun. And in my mind, I’m just like ‘just don’t turn towards me’, because I’m standing literally right next to you, so I just had a very small window to kind of get to his arm.”

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The man, who’s been in the security business for over two decades, was surprised to see the teenager at the venue.

“Definitely wasn’t expecting anyone that young to be at the event one. And to do that,” Brookins said. “I have young kids, and my youngest is 15. Never in my mind, would that cross my mind as an action that he would do, so I wouldn’t expect anyone else either.

Brookins was called a hero by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office after the shooting.

But when asked if he was proud of what he did, he said it was just another day at work.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say proud. I look at it as a job,” he said. “If put in the same opportunity, the same position, if I felt like I could do it safely, I would 100% do it again.”

The security guard has no plans to stop doing his job, including at Cabana Live.

“I love Cabana [Live], as a family. We align our goals the same,” Brookins said. “It’s a great place to be and - to me - it still is a very safe environment.”

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