Bay City couple organizes active shooter preparedness event
BAY CITY, Mich. —
From the Las Vegas concert massacre to the recent church shooting in Texas, active shooter situations have become all too common.
These tragedies urged one Bay City couple to organize an event to teach the community how to survive an active shooter situation.
"Watching the news we've seen all of the events that gone on lately," Angela Gilson of Bay City said.
Angela and her husband live and work in Bay City.
They are also the parents of two children.
"We have two young children at home, so you start to kind of talk amongst yourself and say, 'What would we do if something happened to us and we were in that situation?'" she said.
Fearing they wouldn't know what to do, they reached out to retired Saginaw Police Officer and owner of Secure Solution LLC, Henry Reyna, about holding an educational event for the public.
"This violence that we're seeing across the United States is not going away," Reyna said. "We need to have a better planned response, not just police and fire... the whole community."
There were more than 150 people who came out to the "How To Survive an Active Shooter" event, including hotel workers, parents and business employees, like Uptown Grill manager, Melissa Hartshorn.
"With us having a restaurant and being in a new location, I feel like it is important," Hartshorn said. "I feel like our staff should be properly trained and we should know what to do in case of any sort of emergency."
She said following the Vegas shooting especially, she has been trying to be prepared for anything and everything.
"We're all windows and anyone can come in off the boat, park on the dock," she said. "There's the hotel across from us, the condos above us."
The big takeaway from Thursday night's event was to be aware of your surroundings.
Reyna said every time you step into a room, look for somewhere to take cover, look for the exits and look to see if there's something you can use to protect yourself.
As of now, Gilson said she isn't planning to organize another event, unless there is a big response.