In an effort to bring new and innovative safety measures to Beeville Independent School District, the district's police department participated in a simulated active shooting training course. On Thursday, eight of the district's officers put on tactical gear and were armed with replica rifles as they raced to save dozens of children in an active shooting.
The training was as realistic as it comes. It started with an administrative secretary rushed to tell the on-staff officer of an active shooter storming the school. In seconds, the officer alerted other law enforcement and geared up to take on the attacker.
While sprinting down the hallways, the officer approached several children that were already injured by the attacker as they attempted to show him the direction in which the 17-year-old gunman ran. After checking on the students in the hallways and bringing them to safety, the officer continued searching for the active shooter and eventually found them inside a bathroom, where they were shot and apprehended.
Although the training was only a possibility of what it could be, the officers and students involved took every step seriously during what they're naming as the "Protective Mindset" course.
The training was coordinated by Army veteran Kyle Morgan, who owns Blu Bearing Solutions. In 2015, Morgan heroically intervened in a deadly attack at a hotel in Mali, West Africa. Several gunmen held innocent victims hostage, and with the use of his military knowledge and experience, Morgan was able to save more than 140 people. He was deployed as a Special Operations Advisor to the US Embassy. However, he made it his mission to rely on his pivotal defense training to assist during turmoil.
“I’m bringing my personal experience with hostage rescue and applying those tactical techniques to really build the confidence of what I believe to be an appropriate response of our law enforcement and an integration of our tactical evacuation piece," Morgan said.
Beeville ISD Police Chief Art Gamez says seeing his officers in a simulated situation such as this was very startling, but he knows for a fact that they're prepared for the unexpected moment.
“It’s not easy seeing children hold on to you and screaming for help," Gamez said, "Included with seeing simulated bud, hearing gunfire, trying to progress and go nowhere that threat is at. But seeing them go through it. Being able to help witness not only myself go through it, but also my officers is great. I’m very pleased. I’m very proud to have the team that I have.”
Although it's hard to prepare for the unknown, the hope is that this training can inspire other districts and law enforcement across the country to adopt the protector mindset and keep our children safe, whether that's in or out of the classroom.
No children or law enforcement officers were injured during the training course.