Mass Shooting in El Paso Leads Walmart CEO to Believe Active Shooter Training Saves Lives

Aug 22, 2019 1:35:44 PM / by Active Threat Solutions by Defense in Depth

Lives were lost in El Paso, Texas due to a mass shooting. The increasing number of shootings in 2019 continues to affect lives and cause grievances across the nation. The good news - there is a solution to protect the ones you love and yourself, by participating in active threat training. 

Continue reading below for more information on the shooting and how active threat training saved lives. 


A gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Saturday, August 3, 2019. The mass shooting grabbed national attention to start a debate regarding gun violence control. Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO, is being asked to use the company’s recent incidents as a precedent for change. 

Doug McMillon was about to get lunch with his wife, Shelley, when he received a call about the shooting. He immediately rerouted to the home office. 

The Walmart CEO and a team representing a range of different departments convened in Walmart’s emergency operations center (EOC) in Bentonville, Arkansas. Information about the shooting was gathered as efforts were made to keep in contact with both law enforcement and Walmart employees in El Paso. The EOC had a security team, operations team and several other groups that worked to help with real-time decision-making.

McMillon mentioned they are looking for ways to improve the safety and security of Walmart stores. Best efforts are being made to support employees, associates and loved ones of the victims as they grieve and work through the emotional aspects of the experience.

“What's going through our minds first and foremost is the safety of our associates and our customers. So the process starts with being able to locate and confirm the safety of every one of our associates. There's kind of a real-time roll call that happens. And we stick with that until it's complete. So similar to other crises like storms, hurricanes, and things like that. We first find everybody. ‘Are you okay, what do you need?’ We're taking care of things related to compensation and benefits—the focus is on people,” said McMillon about the El Paso shooting. 

He said the day he visited El Paso to speak with store employees about the shooting was “a day I’ll never forget.” The CEO sat with the local store manager and assistant managers and met with associates.

"The purpose in going was to just hug the people and listen to them," McMillon said. "And we had set up a resource center at a nearby hotel and invited our associates to come in if they wished to talk about things, and to answer their questions, and our management team was all there on Tuesday." 

Active shooter training is a part of the Walmart employee’s overall Academy training experience. McMillon believes “the active shooter training was really helpful.” He visited Southaven as well as El Paso and spoke with associates and the management team. It was clear they all appreciated and recognized how much that training helped during life-threatening situations. 

A component of the active shooter section of the training involved a virtual reality experience. McMillon said, “there’s something about doing that through VR that helps you, in some ways, live the experience and understand the steps that you need to take in an active shooter situation.”

The management team acted quickly, engaged associates and executed the plan. “We all feel very confident that lives were saved and seconds were gained. So, we're appreciative of that fact, and the decision that the leadership team had made here to make the training happen quarterly, I think helped as well,” said McMillon. 

Currently, the El Paso store remains closed and leadership is not sure how long the store will remain closed. 



McMillon felt Walmart’s active shooter training allowed the store employees in El Paso to “feel very confident that lives were saved and seconds were gained.”

Why do we train for active threat survival? Our hearts go out to anyone who has been involved in a shooting. We offer these training services in the hopes that your company can equip its employees with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to maintain a safe working environment for everyone. 

At Active Threat Solutions, our expert team develops safety plans when life-threatening situations arise. When professionals develop a well-thought-out plan, it allows everyone to know what to do during an event to decrease fear and increase the number of survivors. 

We want you to be prepared. Our progressive training program is designed for participants of all ages, backgrounds and levels. 

The 90-minute active shooter training seminar we offer is applied in and out of the workplace to protect yourself and those around you throughout your daily routine. We equip your organization with the confidence it needs to address active threats.

One of our trained experts will discuss and demonstrate a customized course just for you. Topics covered in our training course includes:

  • Vital statistics of active threat events
  • Why situational awareness is important
  • The different categories of active threats
  • The mindset and preparedness of an active shooter
  • The differences of cover vs. conceal and how it can be applied
  • Extra security measures
  • The Houston Model: Run, Hide and Fight
  • The Attacker’s response to disruptions you cause
  • Having a plan when the attack starts, while it’s happening and after it has happened

After the presentation, our instructor will analyze your building and talk through any concerns you may have about the space and what the best measures are to be taken during an attack. 

Learn more about our active shooter training program.


At Active Threat Solutions (ATS), our expert trainers know what to do. ATS has trained more than 6,000 employees in more than seven states and Canada. We provide training for risk management, active threat training, emergency response and post-incident communication. 

Active Threat Solutions is offering a free seminar on Active Shooter Training with two dates: September 5, 2019, and September 19, 2019, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Learn more about the seminar here

We know what to do and want you to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to make it home at the end of the day. 

Are you ready to take action?


Topics: active threat, active threat training, el paso shooting

Active Threat Solutions by Defense in Depth

Written by Active Threat Solutions by Defense in Depth

Active Threat Solutions by Defense in Depth was developed to equip individuals with the knowledge and confidence they need that will inspire them to implement crisis solutions in the workplace making them feel safer and more empowered.