Middleton Police teach citizens how to respond to an active shooter

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MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) - Middleton police hosted its first public active shooter presentation on Monday night since a gunman entered a local business and open fired in September.

Deming Way in Madison, Wisconsin at the scene of a possible active shooter, Photo Date: 9/19/2018 / Photo: WMTV / MGN

More than 300 people registered for the free presentation at Middleton High School's performing arts center.

"It's the biggest one I've ever done to I'm anxious and excited," said Kim Wood, the Community Awareness Officer with the Middleton Police Department.

On Sept.19, 2018 a gunman walked into WTS Paradigm in Middleton and began firing a gun at his colleagues. Four people were injured. All victims survived, but the gunman was shot and killed by police.

"It is an unfortunate reality, said Wood. "Our incident in September, there were two other incidents that happened in the country that very same day. We want people to have a plan. We want somebody to know and have some idea of what they would do."

Officer Wood said since September she has visited more than 12 businesses that have created personalized active shooters plans.

"They need to have a plan. They need to mental script about what they would do if this were to happen at the restaurant, or their kid's sports game, or the movie theater," said Wood.

She said Monday's presentation is for a mature audience, but parents should find a way to talk with their kids about a plan.

"I know I'm a police officer but I'm also a mom, so there's that whole other aspect of how do I protect my own children. I'm going to try and protect everyone else but that the end of the day I have to protect my family too," Wood said.

Michelle Zander attended Monday's training even though she has been to an active shooter presentation before. She said after several recent shootings, this has been on her mind.

"You used to feel safe, you know, you didn't have to worry about going to school, what was going to happen or going to work or going to the mall, but now you kind of think twice, do I really want to go to this place with all these people or do I want to not? But you still have to live your life, but it is scary," Zander said.

Zander said she wanted to come today to refresh what she has learned before so she can prepare for any situation.

"What do you watch for in a situation, like being aware of the exits. And you know, if it happens, do I run, do I hide, do you barricade yourself in?" she said.

Zander also hopes to teach her family what to do in an active shooter situation, using what she learned today.

"It's happening all over the place, you just don't know where, so it's better to just be prepared, so if something happens, you kind of can react and know what to do," she said.