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Security company that hired Longboat Key murder suspect explains screening process

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LONGBOAT KEY, FL (WWSB) - Darryl Hanna Jr. worked part-time for Victory Security Agency for three months before police say he robbed their client, the Zota Beach Resort, killing a manager and fellow security guard.

"I hate to hear that somebody in the security business, or a member of the NRA has gone out and shot somebody intentionally," says Kevin Murphy.

Murphy is a retired New York cop who used to provide security and firearms training, and still works part time as a security officer in Bradenton.

"There's got to be liability somewhere," says Murphy. "Somebody hired this nutball."

He says low salaries have lowered industry standards, and it doesn't take much to get a Class D license for unarmed private security work.

"I've had people that were totally illiterate sitting next to me in class," he says. "But they end up with a state license."

State and federal background checks for that license are rarely updated he says, and companies should require more than the state's 40 hours of training.

"Companies don't want to do that," says Murphy. "Why? It always, always boils down to the almighty dollar."

Victory security said in an email their screening procedures go beyond the state's to include fingerprints, and they do require additional training, but couldn't say whether that applied to the Zota Resort.

"Some sites require minimal site-specific training (at least an additional 16-24 hours)," wrote company president Jason Jerabek in an email to ABC 7. "While others require up to or more than an additional 40 hours.

When asked if that would change, Jerabek said, "when tragic incidents like this occur, our entire team, management and staff are reflecting on what changes may be prudent or appropriate as they relate to their specific site."

In May, Hanna Jr. plead no contest to stealing items while working with a different security company. Victory Security says they had no knowledge of this charge and the state should have revoked his license if he was convicted.

Murphy says sometimes crimes are overlooked when they aren't felonies that are violent in nature.

At the bond hearing for Darryl Hanna Jr., the partner of Kevin Carter, the other guard killed in the robbery, said he doesn't blame the company.

"That's not Victory's fault, they can not determine what's in the hearts and minds of their employees," said Thomas Swigeart. "I can only blame Darryl. He's the one that pulled the trigger."