Recently two pastors have suffered attacks while at church, specifically being shot. One pastor was killed and the other miraculously survived.
I posted this article/video about 8 years ago, but it was one that is worth watching again. In the video I discuss and demonstrate shot avoidance techniques I learned in a defensive tactics class. It is a technique I practice quite often, as I believe just milliseconds and millimeters exist between survival and death.
Here it is:
The tendency after a church violence incident, or any violent incident, is to look at the actions of those involved and determine if they did the right thing. The question I have is how does one know the right thing, when nobody has ever taught him the right thing to do? The horrific incident in Maryville, IL, when you really think about it, must have been unreal to those who watched it happen right before their eyes. Police officers learn shot avoidance techniques in the academy, and it is a skill I think everyone should know. In this video, I teach a simple shot avoidance technique you can show your pastor and team members. It is demonstrated with and without a weapon, and there is a short version and a longer version, and you can watch and learn plenty from both. This is a skill I think every pastor should consider because it is so easy to do, and can be accomplished with a little pre-planning. News reports indicate Pastor Fred Winters was surprised by the suspect pulling a weapon and aiming it at him, and he had enough time to push the Bible up in front of him as a protective measure. However, he was still stationary and an easy target. The Bible was unable to stop the .45 caliber round, and it hit him in the chest. We teach officers to think about movement during a gun fight, and the tendency is to stay in place and fire their weapon. The problem is they become a sitting duck and make it easy for the bad guy to hit them. I watched a video once where a suspect and officer were involved in a firefight. The suspect, a Vietnam veteran, was able to defeat the officer by simple movement and advancement techniques. He fired his weapon, forcing the officer’s head down beneath cover. When the officer raised his head, he fired to where he last saw the suspect. However, the bad guy had moved and continued to fire and advance. Unfortunately, the officer did not survive the incident. Why? He was trained to fire in place while standing in front of a target not shooting at him. The repetition of shooting in place caused him to develop a bad habit. The bad habit cost him his life. I learned from this video, and have since tested the theory that movement can defeat someone in a gunfight because it has a tendency to keep the suspect adjusting his firing position, and makes it difficult to hit a moving target. The lessons learned from the slain officer and Pastor Winters can help us all survive if we are ever in the frightening position of having a gun pointed at us in anger. Using those precious seconds to do the right thing can help us survive so our family members do not become victims of senseless violence.