LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – What if someone with a gun walked into your classroom or your office? In the wake of recent shootings and gun scares across the country law enforcement officials here on the South Plains want to make sure you know how to react if it becomes a reality.
The Texas Tech police believe it's not a matter of if but when an active shooter will come on to campus and they train for it. It is an issue they embrace because of how common active shooters seem to be on campus and in other public places like grocery stores and churches.
"I've always wondered what if?" Shannon Younger, lead advisor for the College of Engineering, wanted to learn about what she could do to keep herself and her colleagues alive if a shooter walked into her building.
"It's a possibility someone could snap," said Matt Billingsley, a first year student at Texas Tech. He just got a job on campus and was required to attend the session on campus shooters.
Since the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007, Sgt. Eric Williams with Texas Tech police department continues to spread the word about active shooters and after the tragedy in Tucson, Sgt. Williams held 3 more information sessions on campus.
"We don't view it as if it will happen at Texas Tech but when it will happen at Texas Tech," said Sgt. Williams to the crowd of nearly 75 who attended a recent session.
Each second counts. Campus police can be outside any building within 60 to 90 seconds and other agencies will be right behind them if something happens.
"In one and a half minutes someone with a high capacity rifle can do a whole lot of damage." Sgt. Williams explained how a magazine clip can be emptied in just seconds.
"The biggest thing I learned is we will have to do something about it because it will take the cops some time to get there and those seconds can be the difference between life and death," said Billingsley about what he learned.
The first piece of advice Sgt. Williams gives is to get away and if that is not a possibility hide. He tells people to hide inside a closet or a classroom or really anywhere you can find. He wants people to use anything heavy they can find to shove against the door. You should turn the lights off and be quiet.
If you find yourself outside, police say hide behind a tree. If you are in the parking lot, authorities advise putting the engine block of a car in between yourself and the shooter
"If you can't do those things you may have to take the shooter out and step in like the people in Tucson did and the folks on the plane on 9-11."
Sgt. Williams says the same advice applies if you were at the grocery store, the mall or even church.
"I think more discussion will go on," explained Younger.
"We are going to go in and save as many lives as possible no matter what the circumstances may be. That's how we train," said Sgt. Williams.
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