Residents learn how to stay safe in active shooter situation

Residents learn how to stay safe in active shooter situation

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - An active shooter situation could happen anywhere at any time. The shopping center. A school playground. A church.

"I wouldn't know what to do," said Ann Lonnborg of Ocean Springs. "Do I run? Do I stay? Do I fight? Do I pretend to be dead? What do I do?"

Charles Downs of Vancleave also wants to know.

"With the news lately, and different things going on, we never know what's going to happen to us and we need to be prepared just in case something does happen."

On Thursday, the D'Iberville Police Department helped provided some answers.

The program is called Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events.

There are three strategies with the training: avoid - run away if possible; deny, lock it down; and defend with whatever means available, including a Bible.

Dr. Raymond Grabert, pastor of Big Ridge Baptist Church, has been through the training with some of his church members.

"I think it really gave our people some ideas - not just to freeze and to panic and not do anything," he said. "But they could do something to protect themselves and to protect others."

And they learned some valuable tools.

"Try to escape. And if you can't, then defend yourself," he said. "Take up for yourself, and I think that's something that our folks need to hear. Throw a Bible. Throw a hymnal. Throw a purse. Do something but just don't make yourself an easy target."

It takes an average of three minutes for law enforcement to respond to an emergency like an active shooter.

D'Iberville Chief Wayne Payne said he simply wants to give civilians a fighting chance.

"The most important thing that everybody needs to take away is always be alert," he said. "Always know what your surroundings are. Know where you are at. Know where that exit is. ... A lot can happen in three minutes."

The training will continue in January when the D'Iberville Police Department begins its Citizen Police Academy.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.