Darcy Costello, Alex Mann
The security guard who fatally shot a soccer coach at a bar in Highlandtown last month has a history of using force against people, including once deploying a stun gun on a woman in a wheelchair, records show.
Keith Mario Luckey, 39, who was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder in the shooting death of Kevin Torres Guerrero, has a pending criminal case for an alleged assault at the same bar two months earlier. He also fatally shot a man in July 2019 in an incident ruled justified by prosecutors in Baltimore County.
A Maryland State Police spokeswoman said the agency suspended Luckey’s private security license Wednesday and revoked his permit to wear and carry a handgun.
Elena Russo, the spokeswoman, said the agency was not notified about his months-old assault charge. The agency is only automatically notified by the courts of a charge when the person is arrested, she said.
Online court records show Luckey was issued a criminal summons charging him with assault but not taken into custody.
While private security guards are required to be licensed in Maryland, there are no statewide training requirements. It’s unclear if anyone tracks when guards use force.
In addition to the shootings and alleged assault, Luckey also describes in a statement of charges from June 2020, obtained by The Baltimore Sun, deploying a stun gun on a woman in a wheelchair who he suspected of shoplifting at a CVS Pharmacy in Baltimore’s Penn North neighborhood. He sought criminal charges against the woman for assault and use of a dangerous weapon.
He described observing the woman hide products she hadn’t paid for in her wheelchair and in a prescription bag. She told Luckey she’d come in with the products but he disagreed, telling her she needed to return them.
After that, she became “very hostile,” Luckey wrote, and when he took the products from her bag and wheelchair, he said she started “swinging wildly toward me.” He then “Tased” her in the back, he said.
After Luckey deployed the stun gun, the woman refused to leave the store and, according to Luckey, threatened to kill him. He tried to push her wheelchair out of the store, but she grabbed the wheels and resumed “swinging wildly.” Luckey wrote he again Tased her, and got her outside.
He said she pulled a knife on him when they were outside of the store and described that he “placed his hand on his firearm” in response. Then, Baltimore Police Department officers arrived, wrote Luckey, adding the woman refused treatment from a medic.
The previously unreported stun gun incident adds to Luckey’s track record of using force. It was not discussed in his bail review hearing Wednesday, but prosecutors did cite the 2019 killing of a man outside Golden Dragon Bar and Grill in Windsor Mill and his pending assault charge from September.
The state asked that Luckey be held without bond, and District Court Judge LaTina B. Greene agreed, finding that he may present a threat to public safety.
Greene cited the description of Torres’ killing contained in charging documents, based on police review of video footage, which she said appeared “disproportionate,” if the police narrative was accurate. Luckey, she said, opened fire and shot Torres six times, despite people standing next to him and behind him.
Court documents from police noted Luckey didn’t retreat, as required in Maryland, prior to opening fire on Torres. Video described by police showed that Torres threw a brick at the security guard but missed; Luckey then fatally shot him.
He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Jan. 3 on charges stemming from Torres’ death. A courts website shows he is charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and firearms charges.
Luckey was represented at the hearing by a public defender; no attorney is listed for him in online court records. Kati-Jane Childs, from the Office of the Public Defender, said Wednesday that Luckey was a lifelong Maryland resident who served 14 years in the military, including two deployments, and had some college credits. She said he planned to fight the charges going forward with private counsel.
Sor Torres, Kevin’s wife, told The Sun after the hearing it felt “finally” like a step toward justice, a month after her husband’s Nov. 7 killing.
She said she was married to Torres for nine years before his death and, through tears, said that the past four weeks have been “horrible, painful, awful.”
“It’s been long days,” Torres said. “We [will] keep going with marches, waiting for justice.”
A prosecutor said at Wednesday’s court hearing that Luckey is scheduled for trial on the assault charge in mid-December. In that case, Luckey is accused of beating a man with a baton, leaving him with a broken finger and bruises. Another man was shoved to the ground during the incident, slashing his hand on broken glass.
Records show Luckey is a co-owner of American Professional Security. His Baltimore County home is listed as the company’s headquarters.
Luckey also applied for criminal charges against a shopper at a supermarket in North Baltimore’s Glen Oaks on Feb. 21, 2021, saying in an application for charges that the woman was not wearing a mask despite a state emergency order requiring face coverings in public to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
The security guard wrote that the woman became belligerent when he repeatedly asked her to leave or put on a mask. At one point, Luckey wrote, she called him a “rent-a-cop” and he eventually “attempted to put her in an armbar.”
His criminal summons charged the woman with second-degree assault. City prosecutors indefinitely postponed her charges.