ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–No more waiting for the SWAT team to arrive, as St. Louis Police order new guns and equipment allowing all officers to respond to a Columbine-style, active-shooter event.
“Police will respond and immediately, once there’s sufficient manpower to form an entry team, will immediatly enter, not wait for the arrival of the SWAT team,” said Lt. Colonel Larry O’Toole.
The Police Board last week approved a gift of $137,000 from the nonprofit St. Louis Police Foundation to purchase 45 Titan .223 rifles with scopes, and 140 Remington pump-action shotguns, 45 ballistic shields, battering rams and pry bars .
In January 2010, a heavily-armed gunman killed three co-workers and himself at the A.B.B. factory in north St. Louis, while police outside in the snow were were forced to use firefighters axes and hammers to gain entrance.
“We needed entry tools, breaching tools,” O’Toole said, “We wanted to get better ballistic shields capable of defeating high-power rifle rounds.”
The new guns and equipment are expected to arrive and be issued to officers in a couple of months.
“Everyday there’s that possibility that there could be another A.B.B., or Columbine or Virginia Tech,” O’Toole said, “All these weapons will be utilized in those type of situations.”
The weapons will also be used, O’Toole said, in smaller-scale active shooter events, such as a gunman in a house killing people.
“When a suspect is in there killing or injuring people, then we need to take action,” O’Toole said.