This information technology office in Washington, D.C. may seem like your typical office. However, employees here are skilled in more than just IT work. They’ve received training on what to do during an active shooting.
Patrick Spray is one of about a dozen employees, who are being trained on how to save lives and react in case a mass shooter targets their building.
Willy McElroy is a volunteer active shooter response trainer with Serve DC, a volunteer team organized by the mayor’s office. He’s leading the training efforts at the IT office.
"What I’m doing here today is active shooter training. That's another facet that we train in, and we get a lot or requests from churches, agencies, schools, private groups, whatever,” McElroy explains. “Especially now in this heightened time that we're living in."
McElroy travels the DC area, providing free 90-minute trainings for what are known as "soft target" businesses.
Employees here appreciate the training.
"I think it's the right thing to do just to prepare for the eventuality,” says employee Patrick Spray. “It's a risk these days, you know."
It’s a risk that’s far too real, with hundreds of deaths linked to mass shootings in 2018 alone.
The Department of Homeland Security had urged all types of businesses to prepare.
The Serve DC program has served more than 70 businesses in the DC area this year.
"Because no matter where you are, you can be touched by these very dangerous situations, and no matter where you are you need to know that you do have some opportunities,” says trainer McElroy.