Long Beach

Security Guard Killed When Hit-and-Run Driver Crashes Into Guard Shack

Residents say the long-time guard was well known and always brightened up everyone's day with a smile and wave.

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A security guard known for greeting people at a Long Beach housing complex with a kind smile and wave was struck and killed Saturday when a hit-and-run driver crashed into his guard shack.

The coroner's office identified the security guard as 54-year-old Derrick Smith of Los Angeles.

Residents, many of whom knew the guard well, said the guard was in his guard shack when he was struck by an SUV. Details about the crash were not immediately available.

The guard always had a friendly smile and greeting, grieving residents said.

“He was good people,” said a resident. “Everybody here liked him. Everybody knew him. He would brighten up your day. He had a genuine, genuine smile.”

The guard worked at Century Villages housing for several years. The complex in the 2000 block of River Avenue provides short-term and permanent housing for people in crisis and veterans. 

The guard was not identified by authorities. 

“Every time I’d come over here, he’d wave and smile,” one woman said. “He was nice to everybody.”

The guard shack was destroyed in the crash. The driver apparently ran from the scene, authorities said.

“I heard the crash, I heard the sound, but I thought was a train,” one witness said. “It looked like a small tornado.”

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