After exchanging gunfire with a security guard at a social security office last month, a Virginia man has died.
The violence erupted on February 8th when 44-year-old William Rankin entered Norfolk’s Social Security Administration building. Once inside and armed with weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, Rankin shouted, “I want my money!” A security guard informed the irate man that he couldn’t enter the building due to COVID-19 restrictions. This apparently angered Rankin, who retrieved his pistol and told the guard that he was not leaving the building without his money.
The confrontation turned deadly when Rankin began firing at the officer, hitting him in several places, including his upper chest. Thankfully for the guard, he was wearing a bulletproof vest which saved his life. Once Rankin turned to leave, the guard fired several shots at him, critically wounding him. Both men were hospitalized. While the guard is expected to make a full recovery, Rankin succumbed to life-threatening injuries on Wednesday.
Authorities located several guns, almost 600 rounds of ammunition, sandwiches, and beer in the rifle bag that Rankin was carrying that day.
On Thursday, federal prosecutors dropped the attempted murder and assault charges against Rankin when they learned of his death.
While a definitive motive is unclear, Rankin’s wife told FBI agents that her husband had been corresponding with Social Security for months regarding his mother’s benefits.