Creve Coeur residents train for active shooter scenarios

CREVE COEUR, MO (KPLR) – An ordinary chair can mean the difference between life and death.

Not an exaggeration, said Creve Coeur Officer Doug Manninger. A piece of furniture, Manninger said, can be used as a weapon in the event of an active shooter scenario said.

“What are some improvised weapons that you can find? “Like a chair. A fire extinguisher. A table,” Manninger said.

Manninger led a safety class August 25 at the Creve Coeur Government Center. The event was free and open to Creve Coeur residents, prepared residents on how to respond to a possible danger.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.”

“Try to envision something that might happen at say, a mall. A shopping mall. Or the movie theater situation in Aurora, Colorado,” Manninger said. “Should you run, should you hide, or should you fight?”

Using the DHS “Run, Hide, Fight” approach, Manninger explained that residents need to be physically and mentally prepared for a variety of scenarios.

“Run, Hide, Fight” explores three options: to escape, find a place to hide, or fight and put up resistance.

Residents who attended the meeting watched a video dramatization of an active shooter incident at a high school, similar to the site of the 1999 shooting massacre in Colombine, Colorado. The scenario showed students and teachers running for safety as two shooters waged an assault.

Creve Coeur resident Adam Lopez said the event highlighted scenarios that could play out at his workplace.

“Virginia Tech. Things like that. Somebody might get angry,” Lopez said.

Jai-Jai Goldstein, another Creve Coeur resident, said the teachings have given her key self-defense skills.

“I had a student last October accost me. And I had just finished this training. And I didn’t realize it,” she said. “I was already in ready-stance, that they teach us for stuff like that. I’m so aware of everything now.”