OKLAHOMA CITY – Just over two weeks ago, a lone shooter killed 26 people in a church in south Texas.
An Oklahoma City church is calling on the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security to help prevent a similar situation.
Church leaders at the Greater First Deliverance Temple organized the open-to-the-public event Tuesday night to educate and train others on what to look for to keep their churches, businesses and organizations safe during an active shooter situation.
“It was unfathomable to know that something like this could happen in a house of worship, so that’s why we are opening up the doors to the public, not just the house of worship, but those in the community that want to come. To be proactive,” said Pastor Chuck Little.
Jim McBride, with the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, is an expert on safety in a faith-based setting.
“A lot of our training is on prevention so we don’t have to respond to the active shooting type situations,” he said.
Attendees were presented with video and statistics. 92 deaths have been attributed to active shooter situations in faith-based settings since 1999. The most recent events had church leaders from all over central Oklahoma there.
“[With] shootings in all these churches, we’ve got to up our security,” said Steve Jackson, who drove in from Shawnee.
Experts say lock your doors and have a plan in place ahead of time, in case an active shooter situation does happen.
They say prevention is the key, and you might know more about that than you think.
“Trust your gut, sixth sense, women’s intuition, whatever you want to call it, we have it and something in your body is telling you this isn’t right. This is out of the ordinary,” McBride said.