With the number of active-shooter events across the country continuing to grow, people at home are wondering how best to protect themselves and their loved ones should they ever find themselves in a similar situation.
On Sunday, one Killeen church — Greater Peace Missionary Baptist Church — decided to hold an active shooter training seminar for area residents.
“The objective for today is to just get the word out,” event organizer and church member Virgil Mobley said. “I believe we are one of the first churches in the area to have active-shooter training, so hopefully people from other churches will attend and then be able to go back to their churches and share what they learned.”
More than 30 people attended the training, which was led by officers from the Killeen Police Department.
Sgt. Jonathan Rinehart, who led the seminar, said the three most important actions people can take during active-shooter situations is “avoid, deny and defend.”
“If people can avoid the conflict, then by all means avoid, get out of the area,” Rinehart said. “You also want to deny a shooter access to where you are. You should also defend yourself if you have to.
“There are also going to be casualties in situations like this, whether those casualties are injury or death,” he added. “But if someone is able to defend themselves against a shooter, I’d rather one person be injured than 40 because of one person’s heroic actions.”
The seminar offered numerous useful tips for different forms of avoidance and area denial.
For instance, the police officers reminded the attendees that doors are not the only exits to a room — if necessary, windows can be broken and jumped out of to escape danger.
Rinehart also recommended using doorstops on the inside of doors to prevent a shooter from entering a room.
Many event attendees said they received lots of useful tips for what to do in an active-shooter situation.
“I was really looking forward to it, and I really enjoyed it. It had plenty of good information,” Elizabeth Mallett said. “I’m retired military, and you get some training (about how to deal with active shooters) in the military, but it’s always good to get more.”
The active-shooter training took place at the church, which is at 4201 Zephyr Road in Killeen.