Security Guard Charged with Attempted Murder Has Criminal Past

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(Memphis) A security guard is behind bars accused of shooting a man in the head while on duty.

Apparently, he was not supposed to have a gun at all.

The shooting happened during an argument with a customer at Dodge’s store on South Third.

Rodney Benton not only faces an attempted murder charge, but also charges for having an illegal weapon.

The next time Benton faces a judge, he has to have a lawyer.

News Channel 3 has learned this is not the first time he’s been in trouble with the law.

Rodney Benton has been licensed with the state for several years as an unarmed security guard.

To get a security guard license in Tennessee, you have to pass a background check proving you have good moral character, are not addicted to drugs or alcohol and you can’t have any violent convictions.

News Channel 3 looked into Benton’s criminal history and found several charges.

In 1990, the security guard was charged with drug and illegal possession of a weapon.

The charges were never brought to a grand jury, but the charges were also never dismissed.

Jessica Clinkenbeard shops at the Dodge's store where Benton is accused of shooting a man in the head after an argument Saturday.

She says she normally feels safe when security guards are around, “They have the ability to call the cops."

But after hearing about Benton’s background, she's concerned, “If they are just hiring anybody and they aren’t checking into their background. What are they putting at our schools?”

Benton worked at Security One for six years before he was fired Monday.

The company didn’t want to go on camera but a spokesperson says, in Memphis, they employ 450 security guards licensed by the state who go through thorough background checks.

Somehow, Benton slipped through the cracks.

The man he’s accused of shooting is at The MED.

According to the hospital, his condition is improving.