Missouri Southern State University- Joplin, MO

Freshmen at Missouri Southern State University got a crash course Wednesday in how to respond in the event of an active shooter on campus. Ken Kennedy, chief of police at MSSU, offered several training sessions for first-year students on the topic of the ALICE program, which encompasses a method of reacting to an active shooter. Kennedy said the primary advantage of the ALICE program is that everyone on campus who has gone through the training should be prepared in the event of an active shooter and can take action even before the police arrive.”If someone walks in with a handgun, you don’t have to think, ‘What do I do?'” he said. “You already know what to do.” Freshman Kayla Lagrassa, a psychology major from Joplin, attended one of Kennedy’s Wednesday morning sessions with her class and played the role of the “shooter” in a demonstration of how students should respond if faced with an active shooter. During the demonstration, Lagrassa was pelted with tennis balls from the audience — Kennedy said any object could be used to throw at a shooter — and was tackled and disarmed by five of her classmates. She said afterward that she was “completely overwhelmed” by the simulated assault, which she thinks would bode well for her safety if a real shooter scenario were to occur.  Read more