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Walgreens security guard who killed Banko Brown lets gun license lapse

A still image from surveillance footage of Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, center, shooting Banko Brown, top center, as he stood in the doorway at Walgreens at 825 Market St. in San Francisco. | Courtesy San Francisco District Attorney’s Office

The security guard who shot and killed Banko Brown in a San Francisco Walgreens in April in an alleged shoplifting incident did not renew his gun license, The Standard has learned. 

Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony’s state license allowing him to carry a firearm as a security guard expired May 31, nearly a month after the fatal shooting of Brown on April 27, according to the state’s licensing database

When asked about the lapsed license, a lawyer for the Brown family, John Burris, characterized it as “a little late.” 

“My feeling about this is that he should have never had a firearm on him in the first place,” Burris said. “Frankly, it should be taken from him.” 

Anthony, who remains a licensed security guard, did not respond to several requests for comment. 

A memorial for Banko Brown outside a Walgreens in San Francisco on May 4, 2023. Brown was shot and killed by a Walgreens security guard on April 27, 2023. | RJ Mickelson/The Standard

In an exclusive interview with The Standard the week after the fatal shooting, Anthony said that he was “still dealing with it, still don’t understand and don’t have the time to reflect,” adding that “it’s not like I go through this many times. This is a very life-changing matter.”

The killing of Brown after he allegedly tried to steal candy from Walgreens became a flashpoint in the debates over how San Francisco deals with crime, with politicians condemning the act as violent and unnecessary and protests erupting over District Attorney Brooke Jenkins’ decision not to file charges in the case.

Anthony claimed Brown threatened to stab him as the pair fought inside the store. Anthony then shot Brown once after Brown exited the store. The DA said she did not file charges because Anthony acted in self-defense, a decision that was widely criticized after the release of video of the shooting

Anthony’s former employer, James Vierra, the CEO of Kingdom Group Protective Services, said it’s likely Anthony simply did not pay to renew his permit, noting that “Michael doesn’t work for us anymore.” 

In mid-May, Walgreens parted ways with Kingdom Group after first barring its guards from using weapons in the stores. 

The state agency that oversees security guards said any disciplinary actions related to the killing will be posted on Anthony’s licensing page. 

Bureau of Security and Investigative Services spokesperson Peter Fournier said that Anthony’s firearm permit will automatically be canceled if he does not renew it 60 days after expiration. At that point, he must begin the licensing process from the beginning. 

State Attorney General Bob Bonta’s office opened a review into the case in late May and has yet to make its findings public. 

Burris filed a wrongful death suit in May against Walgreens, Anthony and the security firm.

Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at