Burnet County hosts active shooter training for citizens

Burnet County is preparing its citizens for an active shooter situation.

More than 150 teachers and concerned members of the community gathered to learn how to react if caught in an active shooter situation. Retired Dallas Police Sgt. Mike Gurley of U.S. Law Shield lead the class.

"If we've thought about it ahead of time we will have a plan. If we haven't thought about it we will absolutely freeze up," said Gurley. He teaches run, hide, fight.

"If you can run and remove yourself from the environment that's the safest thing to do. If you have to hide there's no escape then hide, but hide in a proper place, barricade the door and wait out to the police get there. Then if all else fails and you were in the same room then you've got to fight for your life. There's no options at that point," said Gurley.

Gurley says shootings have increased from 6 1/2 a year in 2004 to 16 1/2 in 2016.

He says terrorists want their biggest bang for their buck. 

That means targeting places where there will be an emotional attachment like churches and schools.

"No place is safe anymore," said Clayton Smith.

Clayton Smith says he experienced several frightening events at his church in Burnet.

"I formed a church safety team at that point and started training some of our folks and when I saw this active shooter class come online a week or so ago i thought it was the perfect opportunity," said Smith.

The Burnet County Sheriff's Office sponsored the training.

"When we get the call we're coming obviously but if you make the call you're already there so it's better for you and better for everyone around you and us if you kind of know what's going on and have some answers before you're hit with these scenarios," said Sheriff Calvin Boyd.

Gurley encourages you to seek out training or watch programs online.

He says the worst thing you can do is remain in denial. "We can't deny that it happens. It happens in the United States and second of all what are we going to do if it happens to us," said Gurley.

The training was free. Because there was such a great turnout, the Sheriff says he wants to schedule another one close in the beginning of school.