PADUCAH — A professional development day turned into an eye opener. The McCracken County Sheriff's Department led a lecture and live demonstration to prepare people for an active shooter.

Jennifer McCann with James Marine Inc. registered for the third annual Professional Development Day at the Murray State University's Paducah campus. 

McCann said she did not know what to expect, but it was not a live active shooter drill.


"I heard a bang, and then I was like 'Oh, that was a shot!'" she said. 

McCann said she has had a run-in with an active shooter situation. She was there for the Heath High School shooting in 1997.

The sound of gunshots grabbed her attention. "It was really startling and a little disturbing how much we were aware of it and not aware of it," said McCann.  

McCracken County Sheriff Matt Carter and Capt. Ryan Norman led the "Operation Readiness" session. 

The goal was to prepare people for the unthinkable.


"It is an impossibility for law enforcement or training to 100% eliminate an active shooter from directing their violence towards others, and there being a certain number of people sustain injuries from that," said Carter.

Norman conducted the majority of the lecture and demonstration. He said in an active shooter situation, there are three options. "It's run, hide, fight, and there's no reason to make it a lot more complicated than that," said Norman. 

Run hide fight

Blank shots were fired right outside the doors of the building, and everyone in the lobby heard it. But it was different for those in the classroom.

McCann was one of a few people who heard the shot, and she only heard one of several. 


"Not very many people noticed, because we were all talking and the door insulated a great deal of the sound," said McCann. 

The sheriff's office said demonstrations like this are scary but effective in saving lives. 

Norman said if you can, running away should be your first option. 


If you are not in a position to run away, hide and barricade yourself in a dark room.

The last resort is to fight, but only if you must.