If after the first year of pandemic lockdowns and examples of social distancing extremes across the globe didn't provide enough levels of COVID-induced crazy and bizarre incidents, here's a new one out of India which appears truly unprecedented: a bank customer was reportedly shot by a security guard for not wearing a face mask in accord with the bank's rules and a nationwide mandate.
The disturbing incident happened Friday according to the widespread emerging reports in Indian media, which details that a "security guard fired at a customer for not wearing a mask and entering a bank during the lunch hour." One news anchor for the popular English-language Times Now broadcast reacted by calling it "absolutely shocking" during a live show...
Local reports further say the victim was initially stopped by the security guard for either not having a mask or not wearing it properly which led to the confrontation. It reportedly happened in Bareilly, located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. India has strictly mandated masks in public places throughout the pandemic.
Police describe that the guard may have reacted in a "fit of anger" after the customer refused his orders.
Authorities further confirmed the guard has been placed under arrest, while the wounded customer - who was shot in the leg and seriously injured - was taken to the hospital.
Footage of the aftermath showed the victim in a pool of blood on the ground while the guard stood over him berating him, handgun still clasped to his side.
More Indian news coverage of the incident (warning: graphic)...
Local police later announced: "The injured who is a railway employee was taken to hospital and is out of danger. The guard has been taken into custody and a probe is underway," according to a statement.
While since the start of the global pandemic there have been some violent encounters between police and people resisting attempts to impose social distancing or other COVID-related measures in various places, including confrontations that actually ended in gunfire, this is the first such example we can recall of a security guard coldly using deadly force on a bank patron for simply entering without a mask.