(KWES) - It was a scary morning for students, staff and parents outside Alpine High School Thursday morning after an active shooter student shot another girl and then turned the gun on herself.
"People don't think that girls are likely to do this, unfortunately, they're just as likely as boys. You can't focus on one group. you have to focus on the whole," said Doug Parisi, a certified trainer for Texas State University's ALERRT active shooter response training program.
After serving in law enforcement for 20 years, Parisi joined an active shooter protection program called SafeDefend.
"Somebody said, 'I never thought it would happen here,' and that's the point," said Parisi. "Nobody ever does think it's going to happen here. SafeDefend in its whole, fills the niche that it's missing."
He said over 85% of active shooter situations come from students starting right inside the classroom.
"That's when you're perimeter security fails you because the problem walks right past the door. So they enter the building like this girl unfortunately with the intent of doing their harm and taking themselves out of the picture or committing suicide."
SafeDefend gives teachers a fingerprint activated safe. Once activated, the safe opens protective gear for an active shooter situation. It sends an immediate notification to law enforcement, blue strobes go off just like a fire alarm, texts are then sent to everyone in the building telling staff which room was activated.
"You've got to have some system in place that any teacher at any time can activate the system," said Parisi. "It is controlled access but has to be deliberately activated."
Although several assessments have been done in Texas, the program does plan on making its way to schools here. But in the meantime, how do you protect students using simple every day routines?
"What we need them to do is make sure their door is locked. What's going to happen is they can immediately barricade their door or they can figure out if they want to run. They have to think, 'Do I have a window breaker in my classroom? Is there something I need to use if I do get out these windows and can it be done safely?"
He said over 69% of active shooter situations are over within five minutes. If law enforcement can't make it in time, you can save lives by staying prepared when the minutes count.