Police Experts Praise Texas Police Response to Summer Camp Shooter

Police Experts Praise Texas Police Response to Summer Camp Shooter

Police Experts Praise Texas Police Response to Summer Camp Shooter

  • Police experts said the police response to a shooting at a Texas summer camp shows that protocols work if followed.
  • An expert told Insider that the response from the Duncanville Police Department is “confirmation” that the police can neutralize a threat.
  • Police responded within two minutes of the initial 911 call and contacted the gunman.

Police experts praised the Texas Police Department for a quick and efficient response to a gunman at a Texas summer camp earlier this week.

And after Uvalde police faced backlash for their handling of an elementary school mass shooting that killed 21 people, experts told Insider that the police response to summer camps in Duncanville, Texas, was evidence that active gun training works “when they’re training.”

“It’s clear to me that the response from the Duncanville Police Department followed the training officers receive about active gunmen,” Alex Del Carmen, the dean of the criminal justice school at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, told Insider.

Officials said a 42-year-old man was able to enter the Duncanville Fieldhouse — where more than 250 children ages 4 to 14 had summer camp — through the lobby entrance Monday when he confronted an employee and had a conversation.

According to police, the suspect fired a single shot, but the employee was not injured. The gunman then found a locked classroom and fired a shot into the room with children inside, but no one was injured, authorities said.

The shooter moved to the gymnasium – where children were located. Within minutes of getting a 911 call, the Duncanville Police Department had entered the school and attacked the gunman.

The gunman and police then exchanged gunfire and the gunman was injured. The gunman was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

No one else was injured.

Del Carmen noted that police responded within two minutes of receiving the first 911 call that a gunman had entered a children’s summer camp on Wednesday.

Del Carmen specifically pointed out that the officers were well informed when they arrived on the scene.

“When they got to the scene, they knew exactly where the suspect was and didn’t hesitate to call him in. This is what we train police officers to do in these situations,” Del Carmen said.

“They know that every second counts and that on-site response time and the time it takes to assess the situation and engage the suspect are critical to saving lives.”

He added that there was “no hesitation or delay in engaging the suspect” and said the police officer’s actions demonstrate that “coordination, communication and leadership are important in active shooting scenarios”.

“With a firearm that can fire a dozen bullets in under a minute, time makes all the difference,” Kalfani Ture, a former police officer and assistant professor at Mount St. Mary’s University, told Insider.

“A school, a campground, a hospital, a place where you have vulnerable targets, we need the superhero,” Ture added.

The Duncanville incident follows the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in which a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.

Police there have been criticized for not following training protocols and allowing the gunman to barricade himself in a fourth-grade classroom for more than an hour without being confronted, which experts say contributed to the massacre.

Uvalde was “absolutely” on the minds of officers who responded to the call of a person with a gun around children, Ture said.

“Uvalde showed the constellation of major flaws: everything from the school principal of police to a potentially broken door to a lot of red flags that were missed. This situation in Duncanville demonstrated the constellation of factors that were supposed to work well in concert and she did, Tur said.

Ture continued: “They all think of Uvalde and because of the closeness and the time that everyone who responded … this tragedy in Uvalde and the vigilance it takes to save lives is on most people’s minds.”

Both Del Carmen and Ture believe the quick and efficient response of the Duncanville police prevented all victims.

The response from the Duncanville Police Department “will be considered confirmation that the active shooting training provided to police officers is working when they follow applicable training protocols,” Del Carmen said.

“In the case of Duncanville, Texas, police officers knew the training and implemented the training protocols they had been given in the past,” continued Del Carmen.

“I have no doubt that their prompt and professional response saved lives.”

A press release from the Duncanville Police Department acknowledged that the officers “had received their training.”

“The city commends them for their actions today,” the press release said.

“Our officers didn’t hesitate,” Duncanville Mayor Barry Gordon told the WFAA. “They did what they were trained to do and saved lives.”