Lethal shooting at a church in Texas – incident analysis

Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.

An armed man opened fire on December 29, 2019 (Sunday) inside a church in White Settlement, Texas, killing two people, he has shot him to death. More than 240 community members were at the church at the time of the shooting. Before opening fire, the shooter sat down on a bench, but then he pulled out a weapon, shot one of those present, and killed him. Thus began the short shooting incident.

Two of the worshipers who were at the scene, both volunteers in the security team, returned fire, and managed to eliminate him. One of them was killed.

The entire shooting incident was recorded live on the Internet:

This is a rare record that gives us the ability to learn what a shooting incident looks like inside a hall full of civilians some of whom are armed and functioning as security forces.

Undoubtedly, synagogues and churches around the world have become a preferred target for citizens who are motivated by hate motives and instantly become murderers in cold blood. The abominable murderers find in the house of prayer a combination of a relatively large crowd concentration and the ability to harm religion and convey a message.

The details of the incident in question, prove that the congregation praying in this church is aware of the magnitude of the problem and the threats that exist on them during the time they gather for the weekly prayer and therefore some arrive armed and serve as a civilian security force that can respond to assault.

Looking back on the situation, it is an impressive success that is clearly a continuation of the right-thinking of that community, a success that proves that not only can a community organize and produce effective security, today every community has a duty to become active, perform real actions to produce civilian security using all available tools at their disposal and without the need for large financial expenses if at all.

The time has come for all citizens, anywhere in the world, to understand that they can defend themselves in simple and effective ways that require a basic understanding and a number of simple actions:

The threat: It all starts and ends with the understanding that the threat is real and can be realized at any given moment and especially at times when there is a good concentration of people, and understanding that religious groups are a favorite target of many potential killers.

Realization of the threat: According to recent events, it can be determined that there will usually be one attacker who chooses to use a long weapon in order to carry out his plot. Contrary to the killer’s behavior in the case in question, the attacker usually arrives, enters the building, and immediately starts firing in all directions. In the incident in question, the attacker stayed for a certain period of time while sitting inside the church until the moment he decides to start the attack, and here too he did not immediately start firing.

Duration of the attack: An attacker who does not encounter immediate resistance will continue to fire at civilians as long as he has ammunition or until a response force arrives and neutralizes him. In contrast, an event in which an attacker encounters immediate resistance will last several seconds until it ends. With regard to the incident in question, from the moment the attacker started firing until he was neutralized by one of the armed civilians, a total of only 6 seconds passed.

An effective response: civilians can produce a counter-reaction that will disrupt the attacker’s actions and even neutralize him. The response of civilians in recent incidents proves the saying that the best defense is the attack. A counter-attack, in any way, will succeed in preventing the cruel attacker from continuing to carry out the attack and minimizing the damage that has already begun.

Preparation of the area: Make sure that all openings in the fixture are closed by doors that can be hermetically and tightly closed, one that will make it difficult for unauthorized opening. During prayer, make sure that except for the main front door all other doors are closed and locked. There is an obligation to control and manage the process of persons entering the facility. Care must be taken that the windows on the ground floor do not allow a line of sight from the outside in.

Management of the entrance to the facility: In light of the recent events, it is clear that it is mandatory to identify everyone who arrives and is interested in entering the prayer hall. This is an easy task to accomplish because community members know each other and will immediately recognize a person who is not known as belonging or who is addicted and behaves in an unusual way. Identification and screening as needed would have increased the chance of detecting the unusual attacker and even identifying the long weapon he hid under the coat.

Civilian security forces: According to the number of armed civilians seen in the video, it is clear that this is a community that is aware of the danger and has been prepared accordingly. I have no doubt that the arrival of some of the civilians with a personal pistol is an early and planned initiative and even placing some of them in positions that look like security positions for everything. The quick, determined, and accurate response of the citizen is the one that managed to neutralize the attacker in a short time and thus prevent harm to many more citizens.

Remember security needs to be maintained in civilian communities as well

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