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TX – TRAINING – Meet the church security business training worshippers to fight back in mass shootings

Liberty Hill resident T.J. Wagner yelled commands at his friend James Johnson in an empty classroom at a building in North Texas earlier this month: “Face the wall! Feet apart! Hands behind your back!” Within seconds, Wagner handcuffed Johnson, leading him out of the room with one hand gripping the metal cuffs and the other squeezing his right bicep to guide him out. Then, the two switched places and it was Johnson’s turn to detain his buddy. The pair were among a group of several men from across the state who enrolled in a training program this month where they practiced combat moves, learned how to apprehend suspects and shot firearms. But they weren’t training for law enforcement. They’re just men who are worried about their churches. They’re preparing for the worst-case scenario, one where their congregations are the target of a mass shooting — something that was almost unthinkable a few years ago but has happened twice in Texas in the past three years. In November 2017, a gunman opened fire inside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, killing 26 people and injuring 20 more. And last month, days after Christmas, a shooter attacked the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, killing two people and injuring one before being fatally shot by Jack Wilson, an Army veteran and head of the church’s volunteer security team. A few days before he left for the training seminar, Wagner said a few friends asked him, “Do you think you need security at church?” A couple days later, the shooting at White Settlement church happened, and one of those friends later told him he was right to attend.  [full article]

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