PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Another night at the bar almost became a crime scene early Tuesday morning at Coyote Ugly Saloon as security guards jumped into action to stop an active shooter.
However, one of those men says he lost his job for the act.
Anthony Gendreau is now the former head of security and assistant manager of Coyote Ugly and says, he was just doing what he knew he had to do.
“We had about seven patrons outside trying to the car and I guess he tried to get in the wrong car first and that’s what caused them to interact with him,” said Gendreau as he described what started the chaos.
He says he then heard shots fired outside. “He shot one in the air and one to the side at the people.”
The shooter was later identified as 27-year-old Steven Summers of Panama City.
In that moment though, Gendreau says he and his team did what they knew to do, keep people safe. “At first we went in and told him he couldn’t leave. He went to grab the gun. Joe pinned him up against the car. I slammed his arm with the door and I reached in, grabbed the gun, cleared it and put it in my back. Joe proceeded to slam him on the ground and at that point, I put my foot in his neck and held him there until police got there.”
While Gendreau has received a lot of support from social media, his employer wasn’t a fan of the actions.
He says this is the reason he was fired, “basically they said they had a bar in Atlanta, in Buckhead and one of their security guys had gone out and got shot and because of that they could no longer have their bar, they couldn’t get insurance.”
The owners, not wanting this to happen again immediately informed management to fire Gendreau.
“I stand by my actions. I’d do it again but obviously we have a difference of values,” said Gendreau in response to the news he lost his job.
He says he knew what the situation could’ve become and didn’t want to see that happen in our area. “It was really one of those things, we didn’t want it to be another Pulse incident. That’s really what we thought. This guy is coming towards the bar. He’s got a weapon. We didn’t know if he had more and so we just did what we had to do.”
Even though he lost his job, Gendreau says he doesn’t wish any ill-will against the business. “A lot of people are saying that they’re mad at Coyote Ugly and they won’t go back but that’s not something that we want.”
Summers is facing charges of discharging a firearm in public.
According to the police report from Panama City Beach Police, a second gun was recovered from Summers’ vehicle after search. Summers told police he never shot the gun but the report says a single shell casing was found on top of the car.
He was booked into the Bay County Jail.
News 13 reached out to Coyote Ugly Saloon management and waiting to hear back.