CBS 7 SPECIAL REPORT (Part II): Surviving an Active Shooter 2/21/12
CBS 7 News
February 21, 2013
Midland, TX - What if? That’s a question officer Chris Paine of the Lubbock Police Department wants everyone to start asking. It’s a question he says might save your life.
"The questions from the community are already there we just had to provide the answers," Paine said.
Officer Paine, a SWAT team member and the lead active shooter instructor created the training program to prepare the public in case they become the target of a shooter.
“Their blueprints, their building, their staff, whoever's involved in the situation I have them in mind when I start my training,” Paine said.
Paine goes off a simple three-word concept called Avoid. Deny. Defend.
Avoid: Run from the shooter and have an escape plan.
Deny: Hide from the shooter behind large objects. Lock the doors.
Defend: Fight- Anything can be used as a weapon.
“They are interchangeable,” he said, “They’re the basic principles I think are effective because unarmed citizens can do them.”
He travels all over Texas to give training sessions. His efforts are catching the attention of organizations across the country.
“In order to get an idea of what we are doing to take back to their cities and states,” he said.
He says while this is a training program the department is always learning unlike natural disasters creating a drill for an unpredictable gunman would require the instructors to get inside the mind of a shooter and prepare for their actions.
“There's things you’d never think about like laughter from suspects or taunting,” he said, “There’s periods where the suspect himself is completely vulnerable even to an unarmed citizen these things we point out.”
As widespread as the departments' training is, Paine says his teachings hit close to home.
Less than a month after training teachers and staff at his daughter’s school, a gunman appeared on campus.
“The Sergeant called the principal and says there's a homicide in the area and we cannot account for the gunman, you need to lock down the school and she did right away,” Paine said.
Paine says the gunman took his own life under this mural of Jesus outside of the building.
The students were inside and safe.
“Some circumstances of that day was divine intervention,” Paine said, “But there are things that are within our control and they were rehearsed, and when it came down to take action they did so within their emotions."
When it happened I was like oh my gosh we just did this," said Katie Huey who was there during the lock down. She says as chaotic as it was the school was prepared.
“It was a horrible thing to have to happen,” she said, “But it was something to show us where we were on our security needs.”
“Although this crime happens everywhere schools are on the nations mind,” Paine said
How do you teach teachers to explain to their children about a gunman?
“The last thing I wanted do is create a sense of panic within the students,” he said, “They’re prepared to do what the teachers are asking and they do so because of the confidence reflected back to them not because they're afraid they're afraid, they’re doing it as a normal function because they've rehearsed it before not because they know what's going on, and that's okay with me.”
As The Director of The Early Childhood Development Center Katie agrees students do not need to know about the dangers of a gunman until they reach a certain age level.
"We tell them (the children) we are all going to hide in the bathroom like little chickens and squat down and they don't know and we don't need to create fear."
Paine says a student old enough to be in Junior High can comprehend the training.
Overall Paine’s course recommends that leaders of every school, church, and workplace draw up their own security plan.
“In those few moments where we know help is in the way, and it hadn't necessarily arrived yet.”
Asking the question: What if?
"The nation is already thirsty for these types of answers," he said.
CBS 7 confirmed with several local school districts that they have an active shooter plan in place.
Instructors with the LPD can travel to your place of business, or organization to provide free training. For more information you can contact the Lubbock police department at 806-775-2971.