Training prepares faculty, staff to deal with an active shooter


A group of Lindenwood faculty and staff members barricade a door during an active shooter training session at the Cultural Center on Aug. 25.

Video by Michelle Sproat


The sound of gunfire rang through the halls of the Lindenwood Cultural Center Friday, but the bullets were blanks, and they were being fired during a drill to prepare Lindenwood faculty and staff for an active shooting.

The program, Basic Training Course Tier One Tactical Solutions, LLC, began with a presentation showing videos of different shootings across the United States.

Lindenwood professor Erica Jackson said before she saw the presentation, she didn’t realize how often theses types of shootings happen.

“Some of them, yes because [the media] talks about some of them quite often, but I wasn’t aware of all the casualties that took place during all those shootings,” she said.

Ray Nabzdyk, supervisor of emergency management and investigations, led the training.

He said that Lindenwood’s Public Safety and Security’s protocol is first to notify law enforcement with any information they have regarding the situation, alert the rest of public safety staff, notify housing, maintenance and residential housing to secure dorms, then assess the problem further.

Nabzdyk said he enjoys leading the training and wants to teach people “how to be survivors.”

“We are trying to build the survivor mentality with our participants,” Nabzdyk said. “We encourage them not to be victims, but to look at their options and use their situational awareness and make decisions from that.”

After the presentation, staff members moved to a classroom and had to react to an active shooter simulation using one of three E’s: evade, escape or engage.

One group of staff members had one minute to barricade themselves in a classroom, using anything they could find, to ensure the shooter could not enter the room. Their efforts proved successful as the shooter was unable to break through the barricade. 

Course evaluation sheets were handed out at the end of the program.

“We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the course,” Nabzdyk said.

Jackson said she thought the simulations were very helpful and engaging.

“I really do feel like if something happened, even today, I would be more prepared to protect myself,” she said.

The active shooter program has been presented several times for Lindenwood faculty and staff and will continue to be offered throughout the semester.