A white man caught on video harassing Florida A&M University students, at one point taking out his firearm, has been fired from his job as a hotel manager.
Don Crandall is also being investigated by Tallahassee Police, the Daily Dot reports, for the incident Saturday night, in which he refused to let four FAMU students onto an elevator. The video shows Crandall telling the students that the elevator was “his” and that they couldn’t use it. At one point, as he’s showing the men his keys and telling them they can’t get in the elevator unless they have keys to the building, he takes out a gun.
“Sir, you bring out your gun. What’s your purpose for that?” one of the students asks him.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Excuse me. Forgive me,” Crandall then says, putting the gun behind his back.
As BuzzFeed reports, FAMU junior Isaiah Butterfield captured video, which shows portions of the 10-minute exchange, which he then posted on Twitter. The HBCU students had been waiting in the apartment complex’s garage for a friend, whose party they were attending, to come escort them upstairs.
Butterfield told Buzzfield that Crandall turned and he said, ‘You aren’t getting in here if you don’t have a key.’”
“We were shook because we hadn’t said anything to him. We were just standing there and then he closed the door and locked it,” he said.
But that wasn’t the end of it. According to Butterfield, Crandall came back and began harassing them again, at which point a white student, whom Butterfield referred to as “Chad,” intercedes on the four black students’ behalf. Later, “Chad,” a resident of the building, attempts to bring the four students onto the elevator with him, before Crandall shuts it down.
But the real gag? Crandall himself wasn’t even a resident of the building, which caters to students.
In a statement given to BuzzFeed news, Stadium Centre management confirmed that Crandall was not a resident of the building.
“Firearms are prohibited on our property and we take this matter very seriously,” management said. In an statement posted on Instagram, the hotel’s ownership, Pax Hotel Group, confirmed Crandall’s termination and condemned his actions.
Crandall worked as a manager at the Baymont Inn & Suites by Wyndham Hotels, but was fired after the incident went viral. The Pax Hotel Group, which owns the Baymont Inn, posted a statement on Instagram confirming that its general manager was involved, condemned his actions, and said that he had been fired.
“Pax Hotel Group does not stand behind the actions of our former general manager,” the statement read. “We would like to apologize to those affected by the actions of our former employee.”
Butterfield told BuzzFeed he and his friends were shaken up the incident, but slept on it before they decided to call the police and file a report.
In another interview with ABC News, Butterfield 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.”
“We could have ended up being the next Trayvon Martin,” said another FAMU student.