Full preparation critical in response to active shooter

Tuesday, December 31, 2019
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

West Freeway shootingQuick action by a well-trained and armed church security team saved an unknown number of lives Sunday morning in a suburb of Ft. Worth, Texas – but a security expert says that's only half of the training that needs to take place.

Three quick shots at West Freeway Church of Christ and it was all over: the first two shots were from the shooter, 43-year-old Keith Thomas Kinnunen; the third, which dropped Kinnunen, came from 71-year-old Jack Wilson, a member of the church's armed security team.

While he applauds the work of the church's security team, Ryan Dobson of Home Safe says the church was only half prepared.

"This shooting in Texas – I am stunned. I've seen the video – their security team was amazing," he tells OneNewsNow. "It was also very clear that nobody else in the church had any idea what to do during an active shooting situation."

In the video (see image above), it appears Wilson dropped the gunman with a head shot after the gunman opened fire, and that some of those sitting in the pews were just beginning to take cover by the time Wilson reacted.

Dobson, who trained for years with his father Dr. James Dobson's security team, now instructs congregations and families how to protect themselves. The first step, he explains, is situational awareness.

"You walk into a room – [and] whether it's your church or Walmart or Costco or a concert venue, [ask yourself] Where would you go if trouble happened?"

Then, he says, follow a three-step plan in response to a shooting: Run, Hide, Fight.

"If you can run and get out of the line of sight, get out," Dobson advises. "If you can't run, put something large between you and the gunman [such as a locked or blockaded door] and then work your way out.

"[Finally,] if I was within arm's reach of the shooter, I'd fight – because I'm too close to run and get shot in the back."

The gunman who opened fire in the Texas church shot and killed two church members before he was taken out by Wilson. The Associated Press reports today that Kinnunen had visited the church several other times this year and was given food, but got angry when officials refused to give him money.

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