The horror of the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history was felt right here in the Ohio Valley.
“This is one of law enforcement’s biggest fears it that they start realizing that just one shooter armed with a gun and a mission can do,” said Sergeant Kettler, Wheeling Police department.
7News asked Sergeant Kettler about how prepared the Wheeling Police are for an active shooter situation. Kettler said their training begins with knowing policies, which have changed dramatically over the years.
“Years ago it was contained, when Columbine occurred the officers were staged outside but they didn’t enter and breach the school because at that time the training said to contain the threat. You know, now we know if we show up on scene of an active shooter we’re going in. And our first priority is to preserve the amount of human life,” said Kettler.
Wheeling Police have active shooter training often, including policy reviews and visiting shooting ranges. But the shooting hits home, aside from the policies and practices.
“You know every officer in the country is going to be going to bed tonight thinking about what if this happened in my town, how would I respond to this, and that’s what police officers think about when we go to sleep, we’re thinking about how would I respond to this, what could be done differently what could be done better, what did they do right?” said Kettler.
Kettler added that the odds of a shooting like this in the Ohio Valley is rare–but be extra vigilant in big groups and look out for anything suspicious.