Attacking The Attacker

You are having a regular day in school; the teacher is lecturing the class and all is quite. Suddenly you hear gunshots coming from down the hall and you, along with 20 other students, are trapped in classroom. The unknown shooter is about to enter your classroom with a loaded weapon.  Students are panicking and the teacher is just as afraid. What do you do? How do you react to this type of careless violence? Many of us do not have an answer to how we would react in this situation, but there are two men who do.

Bob Renzi and Don Witt are two active shooter instructors who volunteer at schools around the Fayette County area. Both men are retired teachers who educate others by providing basic knowledge and instruction when encountered with a surprise attacker. Mr. Renzi demonstrates how to protect yourself and others with immediate objects commonly found in a classroom, such as books and desks. Mr. Renzi also tested how these objects will partially deflect a bullet, he tested the objects with powerful hand guns and assault rifles. Although the bullets went through one book, two books together completely stopped all but the assault rifle round. Guns are not the only weapons used in an attack. Knives, bats, machetes and others are used as well. Desk tops and books can serve as optimal protection from these weapons.

Mr.Witt constantly reiterated “Anything Beats Nothing” when in a life or death situation. Anything that can be used to disable, disrupt, or confuse the intruder will help you and others escape. Renzi and Witt also spoke about how a large amount of of people or a “Swarm” going on the offensive, will work better then just one person trying to bring him/her down. A swarm will overwhelm the intruder preventing him/her from doing a massive amount of damage to others. You may not be able to prevent the attack, but you can reduce the body count.

Renzi and Witt personally interact with the students by simulating an intruder entering a classroom. The students then swarm the intruder (Mr.Witt), disabling both arms and legs with their dead body weight . In the process the weapon is to be taken away from the intruder and out of reach of him/her. Never use the weapon in your defense, as authorities might think you are the intruder and take you into custody; or in extreme cases open fire and kill you. Lastly Mr.Renzi and Mr.Witt explained how students and teachers are the first respondents to a threat when in school. They are first line of defense in these types of situations, so anything that can be done to keep others safe until authorities arrive is crucial, teamwork is the most important key.

Below are photos from the active shooter training as well as a video showing a simulation of how students were instructed to react when encountered with a shooter in the classroom.

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