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Louisville restaurant employees in training to learn how to stay safe during active shooter situation

Because of the shooting, Jared Matthews hired a security consulting firm to train his employees on what to do should an incident similar to the one at Fox Den happens again.

(Original WDRB Article Here) — Author Joel Schipper Nov 1, 2023

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A training was held in Louisville on Wednesday focused on teaching people how to stay safe during an active shooter situation.

The owner of Fox Den, a Frankfort Avenue business said a security guard was acting in self-defense when he killed a man who was assaulting his partner and pointing a gun in a threatening manner in October. After the incident, owner Jared Matthews was prompted to do whatever possible to keep his employees and patrons safe. 

“We had an incident that happened at Fox Den that just was a really wake up call to just how close to home it can really get,” Matthews said.

According to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, 30-year-old Christopher Mayes died at the scene of the shooting at 3 a.m. outside The Fox Den Billiards, Bites and Brews at 3814 Frankfort Ave. Mayes grabbed a gun and threatened to kill people inside while walking toward security. 

As Mayes moved toward security with the gun raised, the security guards shot and killed him.

“If you are face-to-face with someone who is threatening you and pulls a gun there is only one response to that and it’s a response that nobody wants to take but had to be done,” Matthews said.

Because of the shooting, Matthews hired a security consulting firm to train his employees on what to do should an incident similar to the one at Fox Den happens again.

“The main goal is to help the staff understanding what they need to do in the case of crisis so they are not trying to figure it out in the face of the enemy,” said Aaron McGahee, a security consultant with Rhinox Research Group.

Staff from several of Matthews’ restaurants and bars took part in the training on what to do if it presented with a threat.

“If something is happening outside the doors we now know to turn off the lights,  barricade the door, figure it out how to do that, hide, silence your phones,” Matthews said.

McGahee was a U.S. Air Force military police and security forces on three tours of duty. He now teaches classes to companies so they can be better equipped in case of a dangerous situation.

“We have to train the average individual how to respond to this deadly threat, we can’t hope for police and first responders to get their in time,” McGahee said.

McGahee said active shooters know they have a timeline. In Louisville, it’s three minutes.

“First responders are not going to provide medical services until they know the threat is eliminated,” McGahee said.

The demand for training has increased following the mass shooting at Old National Bank in April and when a man approached a Louisville bar in the Highlands with a gun in 2021.

“We have to learn from these experiences, we have to internalize what happened and then we have to implement training and education to ensure that it does not happen again,” McGahee said.

Matthews said Rhinox Research Group training provides some peace of mind for his employees.

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