Company stopped private security services just weeks before warehouse shooting


Could the workplace shooting at the Ben E Keith warehouse have been stopped? 

Monday night, three people were gunned down by their co-worker at the Albuquerque warehouse. 

Albuquerque Police said Waid Melton, 30, walked into the warehouse on his day off and opened fire, shooting three of his co-workers.

Police Chief Mike Geier called it a “spontaneous” attack by a disgruntled employee who may have been passed up for a promotion.

Tuesday night, a day after the shooting happened, KRQE News 13 noticed private security roaming the Ben E Keith Foods property. So, we wanted to know what kind of security measures the Texas-based company had in place at the time of the shooting, and if they had private security?

Wednesday, KRQE News 13 learned the Ben E. Keith had hired the private security company, International Protective Service (IPS), for a short time in October, but then stopped services at the end of the month — nearly two weeks before the shooting happened. 

IPS provides services 24-hours a day when needed, and the Ben E Keith Foods warehouse is a 24-hour operation.

KRQE News 13 contacted the owner of IPS who said he can’t comment on client services, but confirmed his company was not working for Ben E Keith Co. at the time of the shooting.

KRQE News 13 also wanted to know if the decision to hire IPS last month had anything to do with concerns related to Melton. No one from the Ben E Keith corporate office ever responded, but Tuesday an Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson read a statement from the company.

It read in part, “We have a fundamental responsibility to keep our employees and communities safe. This is why Ben E. Keith foods will continue to work with outside safety security professionals.”

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