Police are investigating an incident between four Black Florida college students and a White man who pulled a gun on them on Saturday as they tried to enter an apartment building, BuzzFeed News reports.
Isaiah Butterfield, a Florida A&M University student and one of the men involved, posted a 10-minute video on Twitter of the confrontation between himself and the man, who was identified by social media users as Don Crandall.
In the video, Crandall, who says he’s a resident of the building, refuses to let the group of men into the elevator, saying that they don’t live there. He then briefly takes out his gun before placing it into his pants pocket.
Butterfield told BuzzFeed News that he and his three friends—Stephen Brooks, Joshua Cosby and Fitzroy Rhoden—were waiting for their friend Zavian Flowers, who lived in the building and was throwing a party, at the apartment’s garage entrance to let them in before Crandall confronted them.
“Then he turned and he said, ‘You aren’t getting in here if you don’t have a key,’” said Butterfield. “We were shook because we hadn’t said anything to him. We were just standing there and then he closed the door and locked it.”
The college junior said that Crandall approached them again but was then confronted by a shirtless White man, identified as “Chad,” who also reportedly lived in the building and who defended Butterfield and the three other men.
“He came at us for no reason and that’s when Chad walked up and I started recording,” Butterfield said. “Chad stood up for us and pushed back on the guy and said we could come in with him.”
Crandall told the group of men as he took out his firearm, “if you don’t got a key to this building, you don’t belong in the elevator.”
Rhoden then asked him, “Sir, you bring out your gun. What’s your purpose for that?” Crandall said, “Oh, I’m sorry. Excuse me. Forgive me.”
Crandall was fired from his job at Baymont Inn & Suites by Wyndham Hotels, his former employer, Pax Hotel Group, confirmed on Instagram on Tuesday.
“Our team has gone ahead and took the actions necessary,” the Pax Hotel Group statement read. It went on to say that it does not “stand behind the actions of our former general manager” and “we would like to apologize to those affected by the actions of our former employee.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.