Workplace shooting training teaches local company how to survive an attack

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Schools and businesses often have fire and tornado drills, but active shooting drills aren't as common. But local company C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense Kentucky is trying to change that by bringing all the makings of a real-life shooting into the workplace.

On Thursday, fake gunshots from an air pistol, screams and chaos could be heard coming from the Semonin Realtors office in east Louisville.

“If someone walked in here right now, came into your office and started shooting a gun, what would you all do?” asked Greg Epley with C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense.

As Epley asked that question, two employees came in on cue screaming and shooting an air pistol. Most of the group stayed in their seats while only a few ran for their safety. Epley said, sadly, that is often what happens during a shooting: People freeze.

“So someone's going to get shot, and more than likely, multiple people are going to get shot before anything happens,” he said.

The moment you hear a gunshot, Epley said you need to move. You need to become a small target, crouch down and run with your arms at your sides to protect your vital organs. During these drills, he also gave the group the hard truth.

“People will die in an active shooting situation," he said. "There's no way to prevent that. What we try to do is lessen the number of casualties by teaching people what to do as soon as they hear the sound."

If you can't run, then he said you hide or fight and try to get the gun.

“A vast majority of the time, active shooter situations are completely over before law enforcement shows up,” Epley said.

That’s why he said it’s necessary to take action. That action, Epley said, can also disrupt the shooter’s plan.

“He starts to get tunnel vision. He starts to get nervous. He's never done this before. This is his first time too," he said. "So the more you can do to change his mindset of his plan, the more likely more people can survive."

During the disruption, if you get the gun from the shooter, he said to use it.

“You shoot them," he said. "You now have a person who has killed people, you know? Their goal is to kill you. You have the gun. If you don't think you can shoot them, don't attack them."

Thursday's training was in the works months before the Kroger shooting in Jeffersontown that killed two people, making the possibility of it happening here a bit more real.

“Your heart just goes out to every one of them. It just breaks,” said Brad DeVries, President and CEO of Semonin Realtors and WR Realtors. “It just sticks out so much, grabs our attention, and it's so sad and so scary.”

For more information on C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense click here.

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