Safety prioritized with active shooter training

By: Reiley Bartel, Online Editor

You’re walking towards Bishop Gerber Science Center from Sacred Heart Hall when you hear shouting and shooting coming towards you. Where would you run? Where would you hide? How would you fight?

This was one of the many scenarios laid out by Mo Floyd, Newman’s head of security on campus, at the active shooter training for the faculty and staff. Floyd gave three presentations throughout the month of January, and faculty and staff were required to attend.

“You have to lay a foundation for why having a plan is important. Get into the mind of the shooter, know the goal of the shooter, know what tools are available to be put to use,” Floyd said.

Most mass shootings are planned weeks, if not months in advance, with the exception of domestic violence, Floyd said. Shooters will develop a plan that they will follow and usually their own death. They are usually after high body counts and do not listen to reason. They will also televise their plans on social media, such as Facebook Live, he said.

Floyd said that past mass shootings have made it clear that having a lockdown as the first and only option does not work. Relying on the police to respond in time, or minimize deaths, isn’t practical. Floyd said that the estimated police response time for the Newman campus is seven minutes or more. It is not safe to assume that danger won’t come because then people are not prepared when it does. Lastly, Floyd said that talking to the shooter only puts your life in danger, and it’s pointless to try talking them out of it.

“This is why we teach to run, hide, fight, and in that order. Running puts distance between you and the danger, which is the best option. If you can’t run, you hide from the danger to eliminate you as a target. If you can’t do either, you fight, resisting in any way you can,” Floyd said.

The closest exit may not be the best option, so it is important to know your options and be able to assess this in a timely manner. It's also important to leave in groups, unless the situation demands otherwise. Once out of the building, call 911, do not assume that someone else did, and get as far away from the building as possible. Staff will make sure that everyone is accounted for.

If you can’t run, hide. A shooter can’t shoot what they can’t see, Floyd said. They know that they have a limited amount of time, so they won’t waste it playing hide-and-seek. A shooter also may not be as familiar with the building as you are, so you should be able to find a safe spot where they can’t find you. If hiding is the best option, be prepared for a long wait before it is safe to come out. When law enforcement arrives, announce yourself, and then move out of hiding slowly, Floyd said.

Lastly, if you can’t hide, fight. This is only an option if the other two are not. Fighting is not a part of the shooter's script, so it should throw them off their rhythm. Fighting can include throwing objects, spraying things, and barricading doors. The goal in this scenario is to frustrate the shooter in any way possible. The point of fighting is to disrupt the shooter's script and to buy time for others to escape, Floyd said.

Campus security will also be doing everything they can to stop the threat.

“We don’t have time to wait for Wichita PD, so my job is to eliminate the shooter, by any means necessary. I knew that coming into the job and I am okay with that. The day I am no longer okay with that is the day I need to find a new job,” Floyd said.

If you have questions about any of the situations, you can contact Mo Floyd, the head of security on campus.

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Unsplash