Sep 13, 2018, 6:02 PM ET

Police complete investigation into white man who flashed gun at black students

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Police in Florida have completed their investigation into an incident in which a white man held a gun to stop four black college students from entering an apartment complex last week.

"We have presented the results of our investigation to the state attorney's office, and they are reviewing the case," Officer Damon Miller of the Tallahassee Police Department told ABC News.

The incident sparked widespread anger after a video of it went viral on social media, and led to the man being fired by the hotel he worked as a general manager at.

PHOTO: A still image from video shared on Twitter shows a man identified as Don Crandall holding what appears to be a firearm while he speaks with a group of students who say they entered the building to attend a party.WTXL
A still image from video shared on Twitter shows a man identified as Don Crandall holding what appears to be a firearm while he speaks with a group of students who say they entered the building to attend a party.

The video, posted by one of the students of Florida A&M University, Isiah Butterfield, shows the man holding a gun and using his body to prevent the students from entering the building of a student housing complex on Saturday. The video has been viewed more than 470,000 times on Twitter.

"...We are sick of the discrimination," said Butterfield in the tweet. "Never thought I’d have a personal experience with racism like this..."

ABC News reached out to the man for comment but he did not respond.

The man, Don Crandall, was fired when the incident came to light, Pax Hotel Group, parent company of Baymont by Wyndham, the hotel he worked at, confirmed on Wednesday in an Instagram post.

"He has not been transferred or rehired at any of Pax Hotel Group’s properties," it assured its followers. "His employment with Pax Hotel Group has been terminated."

Stadium Centre, the apartment complex he refused to let the four students into because they "don't belong", said Crandall, who appeared in the video to be considerably older than the young students, was not a resident and that it had no affiliation or association with the hotel he worked at.

Butterfield told ABC News on Tuesday he felt the man's decision to hold the gun was strategic.

"Once we found out he had the gun, it turned into a whole different situation," he said. "We really think he was trying to provoke us to the point where it got violent so he could retaliate with the gun. I knew that if this dude even feels threatened, he's going to find any excuse to pull the trigger."

PHOTO: A still image from video shared on Twitter shows a man identified as Don Crandall holding what appears to be a firearm while he speaks with a group of students who say they entered the building to attend a party.WTXL
A still image from video shared on Twitter shows a man identified as Don Crandall holding what appears to be a firearm while he speaks with a group of students who say they entered the building to attend a party.

Butterfield said the encounter with Crandall started when the four students were waiting outside the apartment complex for their friend to let them in to join a party. He came out, again, to reiterate the point and that's when Butterfield started recording the events on his phone. That was also when another white student, a resident of the building, tried to intervene on their behalf and let them in.

Inside, Crandall refused to let them enter the elevator with him.

"Find another elevator, you can't get in this one," he said, blocking their way as the four students tried to enter it.

"Why not? Do you own the building?" the students asked.

"Because you don't belong in this building," he replied, before adding, "You ain't got a key for the building, you don't belong in the elevator."

The man took out a key to show them, which was when the students noticed he had a gun in his hand.

PHOTO: A still image from video shared on Twitter shows a man identified as Don Crandall holding what appears to be a firearm while he speaks with a group of students who say they entered the building to attend a party. IsaiahNoThomas/Twitter
A still image from video shared on Twitter shows a man identified as Don Crandall holding what appears to be a firearm while he speaks with a group of students who say they entered the building to attend a party.

"Sir, you bring out your gun. What's your purpose for that?" one of the students asked.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Excuse me. Forgive me," he said, trying to hide it behind him.

Florida A&M University said in a statement it was cooperating with police.

"Florida A&M University (FAMU) learned that on Saturday, Sept. 8, at least one FAMU student was the alleged victim of an off-campus incident, which was captured on camera," the school told ABC News. "Our students' safety is our first priority. The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) is investigating the matter; therefore, FAMU cannot disclose additional details. The University will provide assistance as it is requested by TPD. For more information, please contact TPD's Public Information Office at (850) 891-4255."

News - Police complete investigation into white man who flashed gun at black students

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  • Wayne_LePew

    Lock him up. He's a menace to society.

  • Ruth

    Okay how did this guy, not a student, not a worker, get into the student housing building? They said he went to show a key and they saw a gun. Did he have a key? Why was he there at all? That is what worries me most what was he doing there?

  • Because

    Crandall squared off on the biggest student in the group. He felt small and needed a weapon to feel equal and would've shot him if he'd gotten on that elevator. Crandall was frightened for no reason.

  • logical

    I don't know the Crandall guy so I'll avoid accusing him of racism. Looking at the facts, it's a GOOD thing to enforce some sort of security in apartment buildings. Crandall knew he was ok to be in there and did the right thing requiring the kids to have someone let them in and be responsible for them. It seems like someone comes out and speaks for them, at which point Crandall should have left them alone.

  • logical

    ""Oh, I'm sorry. Excuse me. Forgive me," he said, trying to hide it behind him."

    That's not what someone says that's trying to be threatening. Was he holding the gun in a threatening manner or was he holding it in a way that if they attacked him he'd be able to defend himself? Maybe it's just the confusing manner in which this is being reported. Interested to hear what this investigation says outside of what the MSM reports.

  • Thomas

    The fact that he was carrying a weapon in an unauthorized area should result in him not being able to own firearms anymore. He does not seem to have the proper judgement to be entrusted with firearms.

  • Morgan Sheridan

    Nope. He doesn't deserve forgiveness. He deserves to be charged with assault and anything else the DA can stack on. Those young students showed a lot of presence of mind and restraint to save themselves from the worst Crandall was capable of.

  • rayj76

    How in the world is SYG even legal? Come on FL. Walk on over to our century already! It's ridiculous. He had that gun out in his hand just WAITING for an excuse to use it. And he had it ready so that he could back up his racist behavior with the threat of death.

  • JuPMod

    Well, I hope they find something to prosecute this guy with. It was clear he try to start a fight in order to shoot one or more of the students. Florida's SYG is being misuse by bad people to kill others.

  • Quantez Williams

    "Butterfield said the encounter with Crandall started when the four students were waiting outside the apartment complex for their friend to let them in to join a party. He came out, again, to reiterate the point and that's when Butterfield started recording the events on his phone."
    ----------------------------------

    This is terrible writing.

  • Quantez Williams

    "The incident sparked widespread anger after a video of it went viral on social media, and led to the man being fired by the hotel he worked as a general manager at."
    ------------------------------------

    Who wrote this article?

  • Mike Kennedy

    This racist jerk was looking for any excuse to start shooting in supposed "fear of his life." That's why he pulled out his gun and held it, he was just trying to provoke those kids to lose their cool. I have to say the kids showed a heck of a lot more level-headed behavior than that jerk. This could easily have turned into something very tragic.

  • Linzie Rogers

    This man,like many more like him, feels empowered by the elected executive of the country. My observation has been that those i have observed are cowards. If they come in contact with a group of blacks they have a gun. If they come in contact one on one with a black man they keep on stepping. A black woman is a soft target so they will attack her. I suspect that's why the police have killed so many black men. They approach the car in fear. I wonder if blacks will ever start arming themselves in large numbers like whites? Just a thought.

  • Prophet With Honor

    When you have no proprietary interest your "ground" is only that small space you occupy at the momemt, not an entire apartment complex.

  • BluntNotPC

    from tampabay com
    Published: June 1, 2012
    Updated: February 17, 2013 at 06:09 PM

    Among the findings:

    • Those who invoke "stand your ground" to avoid prosecution have been extremely successful. Nearly 70 percent have gone free.

    • Defendants claiming "stand your ground" are more likely to prevail if the victim is black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white.

    • The number of cases is increasing, largely because defense attorneys are using "stand your ground" in ways state legislators never envisioned. The defense has been invoked in dozens of cases with minor or no injuries. It has also been used by a self-described "vampire" in Pinellas County, a Miami man arrested with a single marijuana cigarette, a Fort Myers homeowner who shot a bear and a West Palm Beach jogger who beat a Jack Russell terrier.

    • People often go free under "stand your ground" in cases that seem to make a mockery of what lawmakers intended. One man killed two unarmed people and walked out of jail. Another shot a man as he lay on the ground. Others went free after shooting their victims in the back. In nearly a third of the cases the Times analyzed, defendants initiated the fight, shot an unarmed person or pursued their victim — and still went free.

    • Similar cases can have opposite outcomes. Depending on who decided their cases, some drug dealers claiming self-defense have gone to prison while others have been set free. The same holds true for killers who left a fight, only to arm themselves and return. Shoot someone from your doorway? Fire on a fleeing burglar? Your case can swing on different interpretations of the law by prosecutors, judge or jury.

    • A comprehensive analysis of "stand your ground" decisions is all but impossible. When police and prosecutors decide not to press charges, they don't always keep records showing how they reached their decisions. And no one keeps track of how many "stand your ground" motions have been filed or their outcomes.

    Claiming "stand your ground,'' people have used force to meet force outside an ice cream parlor, on a racquetball court and at a school bus stop. Two-thirds of the defendants used guns, though weapons have included an ice pick, shovel and chair leg.

  • Martin Jansen

    This garbage is getting ridiculous and it's due to that stupid stand your ground law where any insecure white man can get away with murder.

  • Liars N. Fools

    Artificial stand your ground....even though it wasn't even his ground. Guy is dangerous. Should deport him to where he came from.

  • kritikosman

    Well remember in Florida you can stand your ground~what ever tf that means.

  • James Purdee

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  • Truthful Opinion

    I guess Don Crandall didn't know that racism is a job killer.

  • jodie shields

    Just a second...First I thought it was students who weren't allowed into a hotel because they do not live there. Instead it is that they were going to a party. OK, now I don't like guns, don't own any, and no one needs to have one pulled on them. Just on the safe side though, anyone can change how they speak and act after they have started the video. No one but the parties involved know what happened prior to that video.

  • bee's knees

    Floridians, it's past time to repeal SYG. This is the kind of behavior that being allowed to shoot others with impunity engenders.

  • The Observer

    DeSantis will hire him in a jiffy for his security detail.

  • Fatesrider

    .38 cal courage.

    Take away this man's right to keep and bear, please. We want responsible gun owners. Not idiots given courage by a firearm.