Shooter training informs students


Esteban Ramirez

Managing Editor


As a way to prepare and educate students, staff and faculty, CSU Bakersfield’s University Police Department held an active shooter training session in the Stockdale Room Thursday, Nov. 3.

Shootings at schools around the country have been on the rise since the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting and most recently the shooting that occurred at UCLA this past spring.

Therefore, Chief of Police Marty Williamson said it is important that the campus knows what to do if an active shooter were to be on campus.

“It’s about having that survivor mindset if this ever happens, which is a very rare chance,” said Williamson. “The idea is to give them

that level of confidence based on their training and education that they could not only survive but react to it.

“Not let fear dictate what they do but let their training and knowledge help them get through it.”
During the training, Williamson, UPD Lt. Drake Massey and Sgt. Mari Gonzalez emphasized the importance of fight or flight and to not freeze.

“Our goal today is I don’t want you to think that if an active shooter or something like that happens, that you are a dead person,” said Williamson. “I want you to think the other way that you are going to take the aggressive side of it in a proactive stance and defend yourself and survive.”

Williamson added that if you come face to face with the shooter, you should take it as a threat to your life and attempt to disrupt his thought process by throwing anything at him. Williamson and Sgt. Gonzalez demonstrated the idea behind it.

Williamson pointed a practice gun at Gonzales, but she threw a white ball at him, which made him flinch, distracting him.
Though Williamson was aware the ball would be thrown at him, it showed the estimated 40 people there how that technique can help someone against a shooter.

Williamson said that the best chance to take a firearm away from a shooter is after distracting them.

Since students outnumber the shooter, he said they should use the survivor mindset and try to stop the shooter.

Williamson said one of the biggest learning moments for law enforcement was back in 2007 when Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and injured 17 other students and staff members in two separate attacks at Virginia Tech.

It showed the flaw in what people were taught about how to handle an active shooter situation.

People were taking cover and hiding because that’s what they were taught.

But Cho just came in and shot them.
Williamson said Virginia Tech showed people why it is important to have a survival mindset.

“There’s evidence to show that those who took a proactive stance had a much high survival rate than those who did nothing where students died, and professors died,” said Williamson.

Nursing major Jefferson Huot, 22, said he learned about the importance of not freezing in that situation.

“You do whatever it takes to stop the person that is the active shooter, and after that, you comply with the police and make sure they don’t think you are the active shooter,” Huot said.

This past spring UCLA experienced an active-shooter situation.

A student assistant entered the UCLA campus and killed an engineering professor, before killing himself.

Williamson said it was a positive story because students and faculty responded quickly.

But they also found a way to barricade themselves, so that the shooter would not shoot more people.

Williamson said it’s important to not huddle together because it makes it easier for the shooter to kill everyone.

“If this guy is going to come in and try to hurt you, make him work for it,” said Williamson. “Don’t go and do something that makes him feel comfortable. Let’s make him work for it.”

On October, there was a shooting near the Antelope Valley College campus where a man shot an officer.

Due to the shooting, the campus went on lockdown as a safety measure.

Thanks to a quick response from faculty, staff and students, no one was hurt or injured, and that’s how Williamson hopes the campus reacts similarly if something like that were to happen at CSUB.

“If everyone is familiar with the same information, then everyone is going to act the same way or at least in the same fashion and protect themselves and protect other people,” said Williamson. “That would be ideal. If we can get everyone trained through this, it would be ideal in the rare chance that we have this type of event on this campus.”

CSUB criminal justice major Kimberly Delgado said she learned a lot about how to handle a situation with an active shooter.

“I feel that I didn’t really know much about how to act and I feel like it was a pretty good presentation,” she said.