The security guard who helped three unarmed heroes save a Springfield Township woman on June 16 said Monday that he may have injured the attacker in an exchange of gunfire.

Gary Frank, owner of Typhon Security in Akron, said he’s unsure if he hit Akil Scott Jackson in the frantic exchange, but he checked the man’s truck as Jackson ran down River Street.

“I looked in there and his seat was covered with blood,” said Frank.

Jackson turned his gun on himself after police caught up with him.

Three unarmed citizens were honored by Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan on Wednesday for their actions to save Tiffany Gray, who was shot by Jackson, her former boyfriend, as her children watched.

Seth Bond, Leslie Snyder and Jason Strunk all acted to help Gray and her children at great risk to themselves. They spoke to the media after Wednesday’s event at Municipal Hall, giving their individual stories about how and why they acted.

Frank said he became aware of the confrontation between Jackson and Gray while he was preparing to eat a packed lunch in his truck, which was parked at the fire station site.

Jackson pulled up his red Dodge pickup on River Street just off East Exchange and parked it there.

“That’s when he jumped out of the vehicle,” Frank said.

Frank watched as Jackson ran toward Gray and her children. The security guard ran around the corner of the fence and accosted the attacker.

“I yelled, 'Hey! Can I help you?' ” Frank said.

Jackson had Gray on the ground and shot his weapon, the first of two shots that hit Gray in the back.

Frank, who served in the military and has had extensive firearms training, said he tried to divert Jackson’s attention.

“At the point of the shooting, my main attention is on him,” Frank said. “[I] tried to get his attention away from her.”

When Jackson fired at him, Frank did not hesitate.

“I didn’t fire until he fired at me,” Frank said.

Jackson ran behind a fence at Circle K and the two shot at each other again. Frank said he didn’t see Jackson for 30 seconds or more, so he returned to his vehicle and called 911.

Frank saw Jackson’s truck move, but Jackson couldn’t get it started, he said. Jackson got out and ran toward a construction trailer across River Street from the fire station site. About that time, police arrived and Frank pointed in the shooter’s direction.

Frank said he fired his weapon four times during the incident, but can’t say definitively that blood he found at the scene and saw in Jackson’s truck was the shooter’s.

“[The police] came rolling up as the last shot was fired,” Frank said. “The adrenaline was flowing; it’s all happening in about three minutes.”

Frank said he was so focused on Jackson that he didn’t process the actions of Bond, Snyder and Strunk as they confronted the attacker and whisked Gray to safety. Like the three others who stepped forward to help, he said he was motivated by a desire to help an unarmed woman and her children.

“I did it because I saw a woman needing assistance and I gave assistance,” Frank said. “I had no thought in my mind that I would have to pull my weapon and pull my trigger.”

 

Alan Ashworth can be reached at 330-996-3859. Email him at aashworth@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @newsalanbeaconjournal.