It was standing room only for the Active Shooter Training at the Boonville High School Commons Wednesday night. Officers Lt. Joe Pangburn and Ptl. Ted Corbitt presented a presentation teaching individuals how to respond and act during an incident involving an individual with a gun.
Pangburn said there may be warning signs if an individual is going to commit a horrible crime. He added counseling and employee screening may decrease the chances of a crime happening.
He said many people base the sound of gun fire off of sounds they hear in movies, which is often not the case. He said it is prudent that everyone knows their surroundings, including the sounds they hear. He also said sometimes people hear popping sounds and do not contribute them to gunfire.
Once an intruder enters and starts committing a crime there are three ways people can act. He said individuals can run, hide or fight as a last result. A video was shown with individuals using these techniques. If an individual chooses to run, he said, getting out as quickly as possible is key.
"You may want to bring some people along with you but your primary concern is getting out," Pangburn said "Once out, 911 should be called as soon as possible."
If hiding is the only option, he said a place that is out of sight and hidden is most likely the best option. He said hiding under a desk or table is not safe enough because a bullet can penetrate those items.
Pangburn offered evidence learned from the Columbine shooting as the two gunmen were shooting through tables to get to children who were hiding.
Fighting, he said, should be the last resort but will fair better than 'begging for one's life' as often times, no mercy is given.
"Once you start, you are committed because if you back down, it will be too late," he said.
He said once police arrive it is prudent that individuals do not interfere because it is the role of the police to try to stop the suspect. He also explained the procedures which should be taken after the police arrive as well.
The importance of the training was not just to explain how to deal with school shootings, but shootings in every environment, including work. Pangburn explained that every place should have an emergency plan just like with a fire or tornado. He explained ways to create one, including offering the Boonville Police Department's help as well.
"It seems every day you hear of a shooting happening," Pangburn said.
Local resident Sandi Moore, who works at the University of Missouri in Columbia, came because of her desire to learn more about safety.
"I learned a lot about the procedures tonight on how to react when a shooter is near and what to do when the police arrive," Moore said.
"I would like to thank the persons who attended the training and we were grateful for the huge turnout. We will continue working with the public to address issues such as this," Boonville Police Chief Bobby Welliver said.
A video was shown on how many guns could be concealed within the clothes of an average teenager. Many people, including Moore, were astonished that so many guns could be carried without being noticed at all.