during an active shooter training class held Saturday at the church.
Larry Bates of the Monterey Police Department couldn't have imagined that he'd be conducting a class to prepare a church for the worst scenario imaginable.
"This all came about because of the church shooting where the man had gone in and shot his
(sister-in-law) and then killed himself," said Bates
, referring to the Double Springs Community Church shooting that happened just prior to worship time on Sunday morning, Feb. 2, in Putnam County.
"Once that hit the media, it kind of shook up some churches up here.
Some of them got in contact with me after finding out I was an active shooter instructor and asked if I would come to their church and talk to their congregation - just go over how they could protect themselves if something like this were to happen up here."
said around 15 to 20 church members took part in the training, which included a walk-through of the building along with some do's and don't's on how to take cover.
"We showed them how to barricade themselves in a room to keep a shooter from coming in and where to go in the room if the shooter does get in - stuff like that," Bates
"What we wanted to do was just educate them and give them a short history on some active shooter situations of the past," Bates
"It doesn't just pertain to schools - it also pertains to workplaces, churches... It's happened before, and it'll happen again.
But hopefully not here."
Bates, who was certified as an active shooter training instructor in 2013, defined an active shooter as "an individual that enters a location with the intent to shoot one or more persons in an attempt to cause death or serious bodily harm."
It's a situation that's led to highly publicized national tragedies in recent years in such places as schools, movie theaters and political engagements.
Last March, Bates
and Phillips even conducted an active shooter training class for area law enforcement officials on the grounds of Monterey High School
in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed.
"I've done other classes," Bates
"It's sad that this is what society has come down to," Bates