Walmart trains quarterly for active shooter events
Walmart was at the center of two active shooter events last week in the U.S. Those incidents, one in El Paso, TX and the other in Southaven, MS, resulted in 25 deaths and dozens of people injured. As awful as the carnage was, Walmart says it could have been worse, particularly in Southaven, had it not been for active shooter training that the retailer requires all associates to go through.
In Southaven, a disgruntled former employee took the lives of two Walmart workers and a police officer. Store associates were able to direct customers to the proper exits and to safety as the confrontation took place.
Walmart puts all store employees through its active shooter training when they are hired and then four times a year on computers. As Reuters reports, Walmart began requiring quarterly training in 2017 after 58 people were murdered at a country music festival in Las Vegas and 26 others lost their lives to a gunman at a church in Sutherland Springs, TX.
The reality is that mass shootings have become part of the American way of life, and those carried out by domestic terrorists, most espousing white nationalist propaganda, are a concern to the FBI, according to recent testimony given to Congress by Christopher Wray, director of the agency.
So-called soft targets, such as retail stores and malls, are frequently picked by people with murderous intent in order to inflict the greatest harm possible.
“No retailer is immune to a violent act,” Randy Hargrove, a Walmart spokesperson, told The Associated Press. “That’s why we take training so seriously.”
Robert Moraca, vice president for loss prevention at the National Retail Federation, told the AP that most retailers have active shooter training programs in place.
- Walmart says its training helped save lives in prior incident – Reuters
- El Paso wasn’t the first incident: Walmart wrestles with how to respond to active shooters – The Associated Press/USA Today
- Mississippi Walmart employees return to work less than one week after shooting – The Associated Press/USA Today
- Wray says FBI has recorded about 100 domestic terrorism arrests in fiscal 2019 and many investigations involve white supremacy – The Washington Post
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How prepared are most retailers for active shooter events in stores? What should retailers do for workers after active shooter events take place in a store?