CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Hundreds of local churchgoers have a new wealth of knowledge when it comes to active shooter situations.
“We’re making us aware of anything that we see that’s out of the ordinary,” said Tom Westbrook, a member at the Langston Baptist Church. “We can do something about it.”
The symposiums are a new push the agency is trying, following the deadly shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
The two hour long talk goes over everything from identifying active shooter situations, to knowing what red flags a person may show.
“A certain percentage of active shooters are known by the community,” said James Robert Brown, an assistant special agent with the FBI. “Most of them are known by those around their sphere of influence.”
The agency told churchgoers these situations are a reality, but knowing your options and what to expect could be the difference between life and death.
That could be as simple as holding your hands up when first responders make their way in.
“Hold my hands up,” Westbrook gestured. “I don’t want anything in my hands, and it made me aware that I depend on the law enforcement.”
The biggest message from the night was if you see something, say something.
Agents believe that first alert could be what stops something before it can even start.
“It’s very special, this is God’s house,” explained Gloria Hodge, one of the many in attendance. “Nobody should come in here interrupting a service or anything.”
If you didn’t get a chance to make it to the symposium but still want some of the information, you don’t have to worry.