SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – In the wake of mass shootings across the country over the last month, one local church decided to hold an active shooter exercise to train members on what to do.
Earlier Sunday morning, churchgoers at Impact Church in Shreveport trained to protect themselves and each other during an active shooter event.
“Get them over anxiety if something does happen, over fears, and say, ‘Hey, we do have a plan, and we do know what to do,'” says Lead ICS Instructor at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security Ivory O’Neal.
Church members learned different ways to secure and barricade a door. They also learned ways to defend themselves if a shooter managed to make it inside.
“If for some reason you barricade the door, and he still gets in, you need to know how to fight,” O’Neal says, adding one must fight aggressively. “You want to subdue the weapon; you want to give him pain.”
Carrie Abner, the head usher at Impact Church, says Sunday’s shooting exercise left her feeling educated.
“First of all, I would have probably got shot because I’d be so afraid and so scared wouldn’t know what to do,” she said.
So far, in 2022, there have been more than 200 mass shootings in the United States. Sunday’s event prepared church members mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.
“We have people shooting at churches now; we have people shooting at hospitals now; we have people shooting up schools killing kids now. So who says this won’t happen here at Impact Church?” says O’Neal.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, most active shooter situations are over within ten to fifteen minutes before police arrive on the scene. Abner says training for what to do beforehand could mean saving your life and going home to your children.