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Annapolis: How Police Are Trained in Active Shooter Situations

The shooting Thursday afternoon that lead to the death of five journalists in Annapolis may not directly impact Southwest Florida — but it reminded us of something that does impact everyone. Active shooter situations.

Earlier this month, we spent time with the Fort Myers Police Department earning about active shooter training.

The Annapolis story reminded us of what Sergeant Jason Pate said.

“It’s important that we get the officers acclimated to responding to the sound of gunfire, going to the threat and stopping the killing,” Sgt. Pate said.

And that’s what happened Thursday. Those officers in Annapolis ran toward the sound of gunfire. It took them less than two minutes to capture the shooter.

Five people died. But it could have been worse if police hadn’t of responded as fast.

“We’re going to where the person is actively killing to stop that,” Sgt. Pate said in training. “We’re pressuring them to either give up, run, many of them commit suicide when they’re presented with a law enforcement response, or they engage us in a fire fight, in gunfire but they’re not shooting at civilians.”

Emergency responders in Anne Arundel County went through similar training just last week.

“So that’s our job. If I can keep them from shooting at civilians and they’re shooting at me and we’re shooting back then that’s saving people and giving them extra time to leave and get out of the scene,” Sgt. Pate said.

The Capital Gazette had previous problems with the shooter.

During the training with FMPD, we learned workplace violence is more common than school shootings. In the 2012 school year, 31 children died in school shootings. In 2016, 500 adults died in workplace violence.