SALIDA (CBS13) – An armed security officer in Salida is doing OK after their partner shot at a suspect who they believed could have killed him.

Much like law enforcement, these security officers can make split-second decisions to protect people. This particular incident happened at a charter school, where the suspect was accused of stealing catalytic converters.

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“You could hear the sirens from all over, and I mean all over,” said Bea, who lives nearby. “It’s really quiet around here – I heard sirens and knew something happened.”

Bea heard the commotion early Sunday morning. Her neighborhood is next to the Great Valley Academy, where we’re told private security was alerted to a possible thief on school grounds. Ontel Security, who protects the property, was notified that a man was seen on surveillance and believed to be stealing catalytic converters from vehicles parked in the maintenance yard.

CBS13 was told Ontel officers tried to arrest the suspect, who the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office identifies as Roy Hoskinson, Jr. Law enforcement officers said Hoskinson dragged and pinned one of the security officers with a truck in an attempt to get away.

The other security officer shot and struck Hoskinson at that moment, but the suspect is expected to be OK.

“You don’t use deadly force unless your life or the life of someone else is in immediate danger,” said Steve Caballero, who trains private security officers in the Sacramento region. He has former law enforcement experience, himself.

He says, like police, private security officers can shoot, but absolutely not without a warrant, and not without any other option being feasible. It’s a major theme in his instruction.

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“We do a lot to emphasize a human life is precious,” said Caballero.

Private security must go through the same training a person getting a concealed carry permit would. Caballero said they also have to go through a psychiatric evaluation with the state.

“They have to and they’re obligated to take action to protect people,” said Caballero.

He said more businesses and neighborhoods are turning to private security in an effort to be proactive. He said there are half a million people licensed to work within private security in the state. Half those people are licensed to be armed. They’re able to make arrests, as citizens, with probable cause.

Ontel Security said all of their officers go through the state-required training, and must re-qualify for their firearms permits every 4 to 6 months.

Hoskin remains in the hospital. He was charged on Tuesday with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and grand theft.

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On Tuesday, while still in the hospital, he was notified of the charges against him.