What Joey Walker wants to tell you isn’t easy to hear.
But what Joey Walker tells you could mean the difference between life or death.
With more than 25 years in law enforcement and a 10th degree black belt on his resume, Walker is the owner of Leading Edge Threat Mitigation, a business providing active shooter information and training throughout the State of Nevada.
Walker works with civilians, employers and law enforcement professionals to help them better understand the potential of an active shooter event and train them to take effective action. In addition to releasing a book, Walker presents training sessions to combat what he says is a network of questionable advice that has been multiplying.
“I started seeing a preponderance of erroneous information being disseminated to public groups on what they should do in an active shooter situation,” Walker said. “I wanted to provide more information and from a tactical perspective, instead of the crazy things that were out there.”
Walker offered examples of some of the ineffective tactics he has heard suggested:
“So what’s wrong about all this? If you’re crazy enough to actually bite someone, you still leave a handgun in the hands of the shooter,” Walker said. “Throwing small river rock is not a guaranteed successful tactic for any event.”
In his training courses, Walker offers education and teaches tactics based on law enforcement experience, proven in real scenarios. It focuses on one central theme – disarming an active shooter.
Removing the gun is the most expedient and effective tactic to end a mass shooting, he says. All other physical fighting, while it might work eventually or delay casualties, also tells the shooter, “Shoot me first.”
Though most people are unfamiliar with handling firearms and are understandably “freaked out” by Walker’s training, he says once they commit to learning the maneuvers, it’s a straightforward process.
His students learn to disarm an active attacker with two moves, whether they’re armed with a revolver, handgun, long-gun or shotgun, or an edged weapon such as a knife or hatchet.
“I have proven that I can take a person that has an average amount of physical ability and teach them how to disarm a handgun within two minutes,” he said.
“Then it’s a lot of repetition as you build muscle memory. It has to be something that’s as automatic as brushing your teeth. No one has to think about which hand to hold the toothbrush in, how to apply the toothpaste or how to go about brushing their teeth.”
Walker’s training begins with classroom education where he discusses the mentality of an active shooter, observed behaviors and commonly used tactics. While he tracks and studies all mass shooting events to find patterns in execution and response, Walker also stresses the overall randomness of this type of murder spree.
While managers and supervisors are most at risk for being targets of a workplace shooting, for example, there’s no telling how a person in such a mental state will behave. Walker likens a shooter’ s unpredictability to that of wild animal.
Additionally, every scenario differs, so Walker also carries out tactical exercises to offer interactive examples of what could happen and how students can respond.
The best action might be to run away, but it depends on many factors including proximity to the shooter, opportunity for escape, and a person’s role in relation to the people around them. Consider a group of strangers in a bank versus a teacher in a lunchroom with 100 children.
The next best response may be to conceal yourself, but people should hide in such a way that gives them opportunities to ambush the shooter and not be easily overtaken, Walker says.
“I’m not suggesting we go out searching for the shooter,” Walker says. “We stay in an area where we can fight the shooter if they come at us, in a way we can take them on that’s effective.”
Walker said the only difficult students he encounters are those who deny the possibility of an active shooter event, choosing to ignore the threat in hopes it won’t happen.
He understands the training can be intimidating to the public, so he seeks to engage and empower them.
“I have to introduce humor into the material, otherwise it becomes so daunting,” he said.
His friendly demeanor and absolute authority of knowledge makes his students feel comfortable; however, Walker makes no attempt to soften the serious purpose that drives his training.
He truly believes that average people, when properly trained, can make a difference in ending or limiting an active shooter event. If something happens, they’re in danger regardless of whether they’ve had training.
“Let’s be honest, it’s about limiting the body count. When the police get the call, it’s a two-to-five minute response time. What are you doing in the meantime? Let’s teach people something rather than nothing.”
Interested in more? Join Joey Walker in Las Vegas on 11/6 @ 8:15 am for the next Active Shooter Training. The event is hosted by Timely Testing.