Bank security officer shot on duty recounts stranger’s attack: ‘The bullet went in just under the vest’
SEATTLE — He risked his own life to save others and now, thankfully, bank security officer Bruce Golphenee is at home recovering.
He was shot and seriously injured at a branch of the Bank of America in Seattle, after a man ambushed him and took his gun.
“I definitely had a couple of guardian angels. I tell you if it wasn’t for the big guy up there watching out for me, I don’t think I’d be here. I really don’t,” injured security officer Golphenee said.
Golphenee was the much-beloved security officer here at the bank branch at 23rd and Jackson.
His job was to protect customers and employees but on July 24 he found himself in a desperate fight for his own life with a man he'd never seen before.
"As I was doing my sweep and he ambushed me, just started pounding on me on my face. I can recall 15 to 20 punches,” Golphenee said.
Golphenee added that the man never said a word and was unrelenting in his assault.
As he tried to overpower the man, he felt his left ankle snap in two.
The two scuffled and several shots from his own weapon were fired before his attacker wrangled away the gun and shot Golphenee in the back.
The attack left Golphenee with massive internal injuries, a broken leg and one of his fingers was shot off. But the attack wasn't over.
"As he was kind of running out toward the door, I remember hearing what appeared to be one more shot. I jumped down and, as I did, I twisted and that's when the bullet went in just underneath the vest, through the duty belt, deflected off the spine and kind of went up from a low angle,” Golphenee said.
The gunman then tried to take his own life with Golphenee's gun.
Golphenee spent nine days in the hospital and endured multiple surgeries, but he's going to be OK.
"Between everyone there and other individuals and the friends, my family and everyone praying for me and their thoughts and their prayers it's helping me a lot,” Golphenee said.
Golphenee has already had several surgeries and will need at least one more.
Along with recovering from his injuries, he has mounting medical bills.
He has a go-fund-me account set up for those who want to help.
Gofundme.com and search his name, Bruce Golphenee.
He said he won't return to his job as a security guard. He’s thinking of going back to school and doing something less dangerous.