PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – At least 27 people were killed in an elementary school massacre in Connecticut when a 20-year-old man burst into his mother’s kindergarten classroom and opened fire Friday morning.
KDKA-TV’s David Highfield talked to a local expert who trains officials in how to respond to these kinds of shootings.
John Bruner runs a company called In-Crisis Consulting.
He’s also a hostage negotiator and works with the Washington County SWAT Team.
Bruner’s goal is get people as prepared as they can be for the horrible situation that happened today.
“The first five seconds with an active shooter is paramount. You have to have a specific plan,” Bruner said.
Bruner trains hospitals, schools and business about how to respond if a gunman comes in firing.
He recommends mock scenarios so employees know exactly what to do.
“We want everyone in a business or a hospital or in a school, to know what to do when they hear those gun fires, or when they hear the alarm or alert that, ‘Hey we have a code active shooter. We have a guy on the third floor shooting.’ If you’re on the fifth floor, you need to know this. If you’re two buildings over, you need to know what communication is paramount,” Bruner said.
Some schools began training for situations involving gunmen after the Columbine High School in Colorado back in 1999, where two teenagers killed 13 people.
“The Department of Homeland Security is run hide or fight. We only fight if that person is withing arm’s length. If he comes into the room and he’s right here and I know I can’t get to the door and exit and I know that there’s a likelihood and I know that there’s likelihood that I’m going to die because he shot other people, then jump on that person and keep him from shooting myself and others,” Bruner said.
He said the school shooting in Chardon, Ohio is an example of that. A teacher is credited with stopping the shooter there.
Bruner recently worked with two high schools in Washington County to develop crisis response plans.
He said he believes that being prepared can help save lives.
Police officers have also changed the way they respond to these types of situations.
It used to be officers would show up and wait for the SWAT Team, but now they charge right in.