In this episode of the Church Security Answer Man podcast and video blog, we are talking about the shooting at the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church in Texas, which occurred on Sunday, November 5, 2017. Included in this post you will find both discussion links below (Audio and Video). We are not going to address the shooter by name in our discussions, as we do not want to bring more publicity to this person, we will only refer to him as "the shooter".
So we are focused in this episode about some of the pre-attack information, the facts that occurred with the shooter and others around him. Some of the incidents we note are that the shooter had been previously arrested for beating his wife and step-son and was jailed for these incidents. We was also the suspect in the beating of a dog, 3 to 4 years prior to the shooting at the church.
There are also reports that he sexually assaulted someone in this same time frame. People around him described him as full of hatred and demons. In 2012, there are reports that he was placed in a mental health facility for making death threats against his military chain of command.
In the days prior to the shooting at the church, the shooter was texting threats to his mother-in law, she was not in attendance the day of the shooting.
What we can learn from this pre-attack information, I believe is that we should be more attentive to information that is going on relative to violence in and around our people and communities. I am not critical of the people at the Sutherland Springs church, but I do want to learn from this incident.
I am suggesting that we pay attention to indicators of violence, and maybe we even set up a way that people can communicate tips about violence in their families, or members of the church or people in the community. I suggest in this episode that we have an usher or security person who is noted in the bulletin or church service as a contact for any of this information. The contact person should not be the minister or counselor if at all possible as we discuss in the show.
We should always be paying attention to the area around our church entrance, including the sidewalks and parking lots. It is most efficient to place a "screener" at the front door of the church who can watch all of these areas and great potential problem people and tactfully not allow them into the church if there is a problem