This time it’s in Texas – again. A small Baptist church in Sutherland Springs near San Antonio, Texas was the choice of this lone shooter – killing and injuring multiple women, men, and even children. Around 11:30 AM, around fifty church members, were quietly practicing their faith when the shooter entered, produced a gun and opened fire on the congregation killing or injuring nearly all. The shooter in this tragic act flees the scene leading police on a vehicle pursuit which results in the death of the shooter by law enforcement. Churches and places of worship are increasing as the choice of mass shootings in our country as a soft target location of criminals, who have a plan to kill and terrorize the innocent. Was this a terrorist event? Was it a hate crime? Was mental Illness involved? Why can’t the police predict and stop these types of events? These are complex questions with difficult answers as we try to understand how such an event could occur. What can we do? Places of worship are not safe from these tragic shootings. Church leaders need to consider the possibility of an event such as this in their church. They need to discuss what they would do – how would they react to such a crisis event. Training for the response to an active shooting event needs to start now.
• What is the crisis planning in your church?
• Is there a plan of action for License to Carry persons?
• Have you developed a written policy – have you practiced this plan?