Chinn has faced church violence twice. Once in 2007 at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, "... when a killer walked into the building... shot and killed two girls in the parking lot...," and as well, in 1996 at a Focus on the Family Christian Ministry where he was held hostage by an armed man he'll never forget.
"He got so angry with me that he jumped up at one point and put the gun to my head, and I'll never forget what he said. He said, 'You're looking at me like your angry.' He said, ‘I’m the one angry, you understand that you blankety-blank? And, he shoved the gun back in my head," Chinn said.
- California church shooting: Churchgoers restrained, hogtied shooter before police arrived
- California church shooting: Alleged gunman 'politically motivated' by hatred for Taiwanese people
- California church shooting victim hailed a hero: 'He sacrificed himself so others could live'
The construction worker turned to security for a new endeavor. He started his Faith Based Security Network and advises churches on being safe. Says Chinn, "I do not believe the answer is in metal detectors. First of all the main thing we can do is to be intentional about security."
So, as he thinks about the takedown of a suspect at Geneva Presbyterian Church Sunday, he suggests that besides professional security, churches should take advantage of its members who have what he calls "protection in their DNA" and could take down a violent suspect. "They could be prior military. They may be prior law enforcement or current either one of those," he said.
A group of churchgoers restrained and hogtied the shooter as they waited for police to arrive. PHOTO: Frank Cheng. (A group of churchgoers restrained and hogtied the shooter as they waited for police to arrive. PHOTO: Frank Cheng. / FOX 11)
Like Carl Chinn, Jason Dice (who has an extensive military background) thinks congregants have to be part of the security solution. He says, "A lot of times you can get it organically. It comes from within. There are certain people like myself who have had a lifetime of service."
The Jewish Federation produces an advanced situational awareness course to help security guards and congregants. Jewish communities have long had security concerns and acted accordingly with tight security. Dice says, "I think our community because we've been under threat for so many years — hundreds and thousands of years — it's just one of those things that comes into our DNA as a Jewish community."
When we talked to Dice at the Jewish Federation he told us there is a lot of behind the scenes work going on between synagogues, churches and law enforcement to try to prevent attacks like what we saw here in Southern California Sunday.