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PO Box 239, Pratt, KS 67124

Active Attack Transition Moments (Message 2 of 2)

We know little about the following. Most “news” came from one man eager to tell reporters.

The Faith City Mission in Amarillo, Texas started as a homeless outreach, evolving through time into a place of hope for those who find themselves in crisis situations. Ministry patrons come to get free from indigent lifestyles, becoming students of the ministry’s “Continuum of Cultural Transformation.”

On 2/14/18, on-site ministry security saw one of those students entering the chapel with a gun and evil intentions. Security responded in ways we still don’t know about. While many students got out safely, 24 remained in the chapel in a developing hostage situation.

911 calls went out; officers came in.

Officers arriving at four different doors around the chapel heard a shot inside. Unlike Parkland Florida officers that same day, they went in.

As they entered the chaotic and dynamic scene, they saw two females running with a shirtless man behind them with a gun. As commands to drop it were ignored, and nearby innocents were in apparent danger, three officers fired on the shirtless man who went down.

More chaos became evident in another part of the chapel. As officers tried to distinguish between the shooter(s) and victims, they discovered security (and other defenders) holding an attacker.

But who was the guy with the gun they had just shot?

We now know he was another student (last name, Garces). In the developing scene as police arrived, Garces had stripped off his shirt (maybe his street culture?) to join a counterattack on the gunman by defenders.

As they took the gunman down, he got off one shot that didn’t hit anyone, then lost control of his gun — which came up in the hands of Garces — as police rushed into the gunfire.


Think about that…

Garces claimed (from his hospital bed) he hadn’t obeyed commands to drop the gun because he feared it would go off. He obviously made a poor decision.

Garces got an attorney and media attention. It got messy. Good officers, putting innocent lives above their own, not only got sued but had stupid stuff published about them.

In every incident there are lessons to be learned. Security missed an opportunity for complete scene and transition control.

Transition moments have a lot of unpredictable (even unimaginable) moving parts.

Plans are good, but your people should be better.

Comments (3)

Sad story! Being non compliant with police commands during a life and death incident can have deadly consequences! Plans can be worthless during these incidents and training if it is not done with such repetition that it is muscle and mental memory can fall short as well.

Thank you for sharing, it gives people other training scenarios!

Good insight! Thank you for sharing!

No visible identification for the defenders?

No one outside to direct the arriving officers and/or provide information ?


Lots of questions.

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