Village Green Companies, a residential leasing company based in Oak Park, sparked a public outcry when it fired a leasing agent for bringing a shotgun with him when he helped to rescue a wounded neighbor. The agent, Colin Bruley, who managed the Jacksonville, FL, apartment complex where he lived, heard a cry for help around 2 am, grabbed his shotgun and ran out of his apartment to find a neighbor bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound to her leg. He called for help and waited with the woman until she was taken to the hospital, where she recovered.
At 9:30 the next morning, seven hours after the incident, Bruley received a call from his manager. The manager took a report and then called back to say he was fired. Village Green cited Bruley for “gross misconduct” for violating a company policy that prohibits the use of any weapons in the workplace. Bruley later said he’d thought they were calling to give him “some kind of commendation.”
Bruley’s case was rapidly tried in the court of public opinion, where everyone from web columnist Matt Drudge to the National Rifle Association weighed in on the matter. In response, Village Green cited other factors contributing to Bruley’s firing, including that he was late with his rent and facing eviction. The company also noted that Bruley failed to promptly report the incident.
The next stop might be a courtroom: Bruley said he is considering hiring a lawyer about his dismissal.
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