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Watch: Security guards tackle armed Fla. man in devil mask who tried to enter club

“There is no question that the security guards who disarmed this suspect saved dozens of lives through their heroic acts,” Interim Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said

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Photo/Tampa PD Facebook

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By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

TAMPA, Fla. — A mass shooting may have been averted at a Florida strip club, when security guards tackled a masked man with a pistol in one hand and two clips of ammunition in his pocket, according to the Tampa Police Department.

It happened about 1:15 a.m. on Sunday, March 19, at the Mons Venus gentleman’s club, and three security guard are credited with pinning the gunman to the ground, Tampa police said in a news release.

Investigators say they are trying to determine the suspect’s motive.

“Michael Rudman, 44, arrived in a silver pickup ... wearing a red and black devil mask with the words ‘Kill’ and ‘Darkk One’ written on his arms,” police said.

“He walked toward the entrance of the adult entertainment venue with a fully loaded firearm in one hand and a flashlight in the other. Upon seeing the firearm, a security guard engaged the suspect and knocked the weapon out of his hand.”

Security video shows Rudman appearing to aim the flashlight at the camera.

It’s when he opened the front door and tried to step inside that a security guard is seen grabbing for the pistol, igniting a fist fight.

The fight continued until Rudman stumbled and fell, giving security guards the upper hand, the video shows.

Investigators say Rudman had “two additional fully loaded magazines in his pocket,” and more ammunition and knives in his truck, police said.

He has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and purchasing, and possessing or receiving a firearm while under a risk protection order, police said.

Investigators say they don’t know why Rudman brought the gun, but it was discovered he visited Mons Venus the night before.

“There is no question that the security guards who disarmed this suspect saved dozens of lives through their heroic acts, and I am thankful that our officers were able to take this individual into custody before he had a chance to carry out whatever he had planned,” Interim Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said in the news release.

“We will continue to ... investigate this case to get a better understanding of what led to this thwarted incident.”

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