WHITE SETTLEMENT, Texas - Texas attorney general Ken Paxton said Monday that what happened in the seconds after the gunman pulled his shotgun in a White Settlement church needs to become the model for preparing for active shooters.
"We have spent numerous hours training and working just this type of scenario. Hoping it never happens,” Jack Wilson told reporters on Monday. “You train but you hope you never have to go to that extreme. But if you do your training will kick in. And that was evident yesterday."
Wilson killed the church shooter with a single shot. Two people died in the shooting.
"In my opinion this is the model for the future,” Paxton said, adding that the shooting could have been much worse. “We can't prevent every incident, we can't prevent mental illness from occuring and we can't prevent every crazy person from pulling a gun. But we can be prepared like this church was.”
The church ramped up its security a year and a half ago when it moved to a new location that Wilson said ended up being closer to crime.
“Back in 1999, as a young officer, I responded to the Wedgewood Baptist Church shooting,” said former officer Anthony Williams. He now runs a security company that keeps the 7,500 members of Dallas' Inspiring Body Of Christ Church safe.
“What went right yesterday was that the church did have the right mindset when it came to them not being a ‘soft target.’ And with that there was an appropriate response to this particular active shooter. And because they were able to take him out so quickly, more people were not injured or killed as a result of this suspect's actions,” Williams said.
Williams believes safety must exist from the parking lot to the pulpit and there can sometimes be a spiritual collision when good people must confront bad people.
"Like we teach in the training; do all that we can to be a welcoming environment. But at the same time, looking at faith and looking at reality... we try not to allow those things to come here into the church,” Williams said.
Paxton said there’s no solution that guarantees a way of preventing shootings like the one on Sunday.
"So, knowing that, all I'm saying is we should be prepared for when it does happen and this church is a model for that preparation,” Paxton said.
Williams predicts there will be more attacks at churches because they are such soft targets. He says churches and church members can't let their core beliefs cloud their thinking in terms of protection and preparation.