PLAQUEMINE, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) Following Sunday service at Congregation Church of God, Pastor Kendrick Whaley opened his church for local pastors to learn what they should do in the case of an active shooter situation.
“God protects his people you know, and since God is our protector, and if we are his image we should protect the people as well with whatever that entails,” Whaley said.
Iberville Sheriff Captain Walter Ventress lead the seminar, stressing to the churchgoers and pastors that churches are vulnerable.
“They are having all these events everywhere now so we are not exempt,” Ventress said. “Soft spot, soft target. That’s what everybody is looking for now.”
He advises to always know where your closets exit is located and be ready to pick anything up to defend yourself.
“If you have to pick up a bible and throw it, pick up a bible and throw it. Grab a chair, anything,” Ventress said.
“First thing you do is avoid. if you can get away, get away. Deny, If you can lock down, lock down. If you have to defend for your life, you have to defend. ADD Avoid, Deny Defend,” Ventress said.
Ventress said it takes seconds to distract a gunman, seconds that can save lives. In those seconds they are distracted, he advises this is the best time to intervene and stop them.
“If one person is able to take hold of that subject, the more the merrier, the more people that come in and try to grab that subject the better,” Ventress said.
Whaley wants to tell all churchgoers to be aware of their surroundings, pay attention to things that are unusual and if you see something, say something.