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OXNARD : Security Guard Shot in Mouth

A security guard was in serious condition late Friday after being shot in the mouth while attempting to disperse a group of loiterers in an Oxnard restaurant parking lot, authorities said.

Ernie Tapua, 23, of Oxnard was transported to St. John’s Regional Medical Center Thursday night after he was shot outside the Port Royal Steak and Seafood restaurant at Channel Islands Harbor, Police Officer Robin Brunson said.

Soon after Tapua and security guard John Jennell dispersed the crowd, a man fired at them from his car while driving away, Brunson said. Jennell’s forehead and right eyebrow were cut when the man who shot Tapua hit him with a portable telephone, the officer said.

The suspect has been identified but not arrested, police said.

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The suspect was removed from the restaurant’s lounge because he refused to check a cellular phone at the front desk, restaurant manager Shirley Tharp said.

“We were closing down and not allowing anybody else in, anyway,” she said.

The man and his friends gathered in the parking lot, leading to the confrontation, Tharp said.


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