FAIRFIELD -- Normally Pastor Joseph Smith II can be found in the pulpit at Fairfield's Calvary Baptist Church but Thursday night he learned what to do if an active killer took aim at his congregation.
"But if it does happen, we can all have a plan of where we're going, what we're doing and then, at least, be on the same page instead of chaos," Pastor Smith said.
Smith was one of around 100 people looking to Fairfield police to help them strategize for their family or organization after an especially trying two weeks in American history.
"We're going to trust the Lord to help us but at the same time we're also going to be smart about it," Smith said.
The biggest lesson officers and firefighters wanted members of the public to walk away with after the seminar is that the violent incidents are often unpredictable.
“You're not going to be equipped to deal with them, most likely. So, the best thing to do is run, get out of the way, get as far away as possible and if you can't, then hide. Make it to where they don't know where you’re at. And, unfortunately, last thing if you don't have those other options, then fight," said Fairfield Police Lt. Jausiah Jacobsen.
By sharing the history of past mass shootings, Fairfield's active killer team wanted to empower the public to think about their surroundings differently. Are you really just hearing a car backfire or could that be the sound of gunshots?
If an active killer is targeting your location, experts say think outside the box. Break a window or tear out computer cables or phone cords to tie a door shut.
Pastor Smith intends to weave all that advice into his church's plan.
He hopes something else may also help stop an active killer long before they're putting bullets in any chamber.
"Evil exists in this world. The way to combat evil is with good," he said.