Church security teams undergo active shooter training

Published: Jan. 18, 2020 at 5:35 PM EST
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High Springs residents may have heard what sounded like gunshots today but it was actually an active shooter training course for church security teams. We'll show you which tactics are being taught.

Protect His House is an active shooter training company started by a former sheriff's deputy and SWAT team member Thomas Sapp who said, "I see the need for it in churches, these guys are asked to do a whole lot of stuff to go in and try to stop somebody who is you know trying to kill members of the church and I just didn't feel they had the proper training so that's what we're here for."

Sapp says to focus on protecting schools is important, but so is putting protections in place for other possibly easy targets. "Churches have been soft targets for quite some time and now we're getting the training and people in there to fix that problem."

Joshua Hann who participated in the training added, "I think everybody has the right to feel safe when they're worshipping and we're just trying to provide that environment."

Participants learned active response skills like proper room entry with and without back-up and how to engage an active shooter plus more.

Sapp explained, "How to surgically shoot at somebody because you got to remember in a church shooting you've got members of the congregation all over the place and if you just start shooting wildly into that congregation you'll hit innocent people so we're teaching them about tactical pistol shooting as well."

Hann added, "I'm just here to learn better techniques on how to protect the congregation that I'm part of. The way the worlds going today it's just a little scary of a place to be and we're trying to keep everybody as safe as we can."

Sapp says without training, you won't respond how you think you might in such a stressful situation and an example of this was the man in Texas who shot and killed an active shooter. "We saw where a good guy with a gun worked, and this guy who had obviously been trained, he had taken the time to train himself, responded and responded correctly and saved a lot of lives. Even though two lives were lost and that's really sad it could have been way worse than it was."

The training lasted all day and also included how to provide emergency first aid to downed and bleeding victims.