Red Alert

Mulitpule outside doors primary concerns after near school shooting

As the on-campus police officers returned from an errand on Nov. 19, they were notified of the shooting at Texoma Armory Gun Shop in the 4700 block on Southwest Parkway at 11 a.m., just before the first lunch bell rang.

The police department hadn’t notified the school district of the situation yet, so principal Dee Palmore sprung into action.

“I got in my truck and went over to the situation to see,” Palmore said. “All the news media and everything were already there, so to me that meant the situation had been stabilized.”

Palmore called Chief of Police Bill Horton, who was not int town at the time. Though Rider took precautions, it was nearly after lunch by the time the school district sent the email to implement the Red Alert Palmore said.

“I feel like Rider should have gone into red alert as soon as it happened instead of hours after,” senior Dorian Rickman said. “I think Palmore handled the situation pretty well for how fast it happened.”

Palmore said that the on-campus police officers and administration went out to the parking lots and monitored the area immediately.

“We wanted to be visible so people could see us,” Palmore said. “I think the most important thing at times like this is to be observant. When people see authoritative figures they tend to shy away from doing anything if they were going to.”

Because Rider was built in the 1960s, Palmore said students then didn’t have to “worry” about the things the students today have to think about. Back then all the doors leading to outside weren’t an issue.

The doors that surround the school are often left propped open by students as they return from luch and allow anyone to enter. While using any door to enter is convenient, Palmore said security is the “primary concern” for the staff.

On the day of the shooting, the athletic door, the door at the end of the main hall by the language rooms and the door by the band hall under the stair well were all left open.

“We’ve got our teachers that are by the doors checking them between class periods, but our main thing with these situations is our student body,” Palmore said. “The student body is our best alert to anything that is going on. Our students and staff are social media people, and they know what’s going on before we do.”

Horton did not returen calls made by the Chronicle staff.