ASHEBORO, N.C. --Security guards are thankful to be alive after a gunman fired at least five rounds outside of Rey Azteca Nightclub in Asheboro early Sunday morning.
More than 400 people were inside of the club ducking for cover. On guard was grazed.
“He barely got me, it’s just my elbow,” said Ethan Garner, co-owner of Top Notch Security Solutions.
The party turned to a crime scene around 1:47 a.m.
That's when Asheboro police say Gilberto Rivas, 37, fired shots in the parking lot.
Top Notch Security Solutions said it began when Rivas took off his shirt inside the club.
“So I go over there and ask him 'please put your shirt on,' I asked him three times,” the company’s owner Doc Sluder said.
He refused. That's when Sluder told his guards to escort Rivas out.
“Then he said in Spanish, 'I have something for you.' He takes off running out of the club and when I say running I mean sprinting,” Sluder said.
They say Rivas, a convicted felon, then pulled a gun from his car and fired at security.
“My concern was for my partner, for the rest of my crew and for everybody inside all of their families. For everything that’s going on in the country we didn’t need one idiot causing unneeded deaths,” Garner said.
Garner was able to successfully chase Rivas away while other guards secured the entrances.
“I feel as if God moved them bullets,” Sluder said.
Meanwhile, inside the club, people were scared for their lives, some hiding in the bathroom while calling 911.
“He shot about seven rounds. Then the police arrived very quickly,” Sluder said.
Within 12 minutes, Asheboro police and Randolph County deputies were able to find and arrest Rivas, who was laying in a wooded area near the club.
“I’m just glad that Top Notch Security Solutions, and Asheboro PD and the sheriff's department and everybody involved were able to control the situation and everybody involved got to go home safely that night,” Sluder said.