HOUSTON — Police sure are hoping you can help them find this guy. They want to talk to him about what happened at Memorial City Mall Sunday.
Thousands of people ran for their lives when a masked man jumped up on a table in the food court and threatened to kill himself.
Situations like these are so much scarier after the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso. From full-blown panic to serious preparation, deputies said they're seeing a spike in calls for active shooter training.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office Community Engagement Division held an active shooter training Tuesday at the Walmart in Crosby. Our cameras were not allowed inside the store, but photos taken by deputies captured the crowd of Walmart workers who learned what to do if an active shooter moved through the aisles.
"One of the things that's most important, that I told them is that you need to trust your instinct," said Sgt. Jeff McGowen. "If you think that something is suspicious, then it’s suspicious."
Jeff McGowen has been with the Harris County Sheriff's Office long enough to know, "anytime there's an active shooter, the calls for service, for us to go out and do active shooter training is always increased."
In fact, requests for training started coming in to the Harris County Sheriff's Office less than 48 hours after the massacre in El Paso. Over the next few weeks, McGowen is pretty booked. He'll be training churches, small businesses and stores like Walmart to: Run. Hide. Fight.
"You know, they wanted to know where should they go? How should they hide," McGowen said. "How should they lock themselves in rooms. Should they run? Should they hide? Should they fight? Those are the questions that they’re asking."
McGowen answered based on what works for this Walmart. Every situation, every office building is different, but the training is always free.
If you're a business, organization or house of worship within Harris County, you can call the Harris County Sheriff's Office Community Engagement Division at (713) 755-8851.
So many law enforcement offices will hold active shooter training for private citizens. All it takes is calling and asking what they offer.
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