• Deadly shooting at Southaven Walmart affirms need for active shooter training, former deputy says

    By: Kody Leibowitz

    Updated:

    SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - Two weeks ago, Southaven police underwent active shooter training.

    On Monday, the Southaven police chief credited his staff’s training to saving lives after the shooting at the Southaven Walmart.

    RELATED: Walmart workers devastated after 2 managers shot, killed at store in Southaven

    FOX13 is learning new details on Walmart’s active shooter training program.

    A Walmart spokesperson said on Tuesday it has what it calls a “rigorous active shooter training program” offered quarterly for associates company-wide.

    The company began its program in 2014, through ALERRT with Texas State University

    According to a Walmart spokesperson, the program teaches associates how to respond to different situations involving crime prevention and active shooter training.


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    The company, however, did not answer the last time employees at the Southaven Walmart underwent that training. 

    “I think it’s going to be a part of life from this point on,” said Bennie Cobb, a retired captain at Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

    “It’s life or death,” said Chip Holland, an active shooting trainer in the Mid-South. “When something’s happening, you don’t have time to think. You’re just kind of going to react to that.”

    RELATED: Suspended employee kills 2 fathers, injures officer at Walmart in Southaven, officials say

    FOX13 spoke with Holland on the phone on Tuesday. He said he’s on the way to train a business in Kansas on active shooting. 

    Holland said he will go into businesses to conduct a site survey and security assessment before training employees on what to do if the shooter is an employee or if the shooter gained access to their place of work.

    “It’s not just law enforcement trained in it, the public needs to be trained in it so they know what they should do,” said Holland.

    Cobb said active shooter training is a must for all businesses.

    “This is signs of the time, signs of the time that this absolutely needs to be done,” said Cobb.

    Holland told FOX13 he has already gotten a call for active shooter training because of the Southaven Walmart shooting and he expects more calls to come in over the next few days.



    Background info: 

    Two people were killed, and an officer was injured during a shooting at a Southaven Walmart on July 30. 

    Officials said there were 60 employees in the Walmart during the shooting. The incident began in the back of the store near the baby section, according to officials.

    Southaven police arrived on the scene about three minutes after the call around 6:30 a.m.

    One employee was shot inside the store, another employee was shot outside the store. Both were killed. Families of the victims confirmed their identities as Brandon Gales and Anthony Brown.

    A Southaven officer was also shot during the incident, but he is expected to be ok. The bulletproof vest he was wearing stopped the bullet. He was released from the hospital Wednesday around 1:30 p.m. and is recovering at home.

    The suspected shooter -- Martez Abram, 39 -- was shot and taken to Regional One in critical condition. Officials said Abram didn't have a criminal history before the shooting in Southaven.

    He had been suspended from work due to an incident days before, investigators said.

    According to officials, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation will handle the officer-involved shooting part of the investigation. Southaven police will continue to investigate the shooting.

    Walmart officials confirmed the store will be closed until further notice following the incident.

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