Interview: Gun detection technology could be used by businesses to warn of potential danger


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento police made an arrest in Friday’s shooting at Arden Fair Mall, a shooting that took the lives of brothers 17-year-old Sa’Quan Reed-James and 19-year-old Dewayne James Jr.

They were shot as crowds limited by coronavirus restrictions took advantage of Black Friday sales.

The suspect, 18-year-old Damarion Beck, was on the run through the weekend before being picked up by police.

Many took comfort in the arrest, but some were still disturbed about a gun getting inside the mall.

Dave Fraser, CEO of Omnilert, talked with FOX40 about Gun Detect, a technology that might have warned mall security staff of a dangerous situation before any bullets were fired.

“It’s the industry’s first visual gun-detecting system, and it works by artificial intelligence. It takes an existing surveillance system … and it simply monitors it with artificial intelligence instead of human beings. It’s capable of recognizing all sorts of different guns,” Fraser explained.

With 3D printing technology, a gun could be plastic, but Fraser said that Gun Detect detects if an object moves as a gun as well.

This is so objects such as water hose attachments and cellphones are not mistaken for guns.

“We go through a three-step process,” Fraser said, explaining that the company is training the technology, so it looks for people nearby and an object that looks and moves like a gun, or a person wielding one.

The technology takes about four seconds to detect a gun and then that alert is sent to a safety team for “immediate action,” he added.

“A safety team, a business, a school can plan in advance for what they want to happen if an active shooter is detected. That can be as simple as pushing a button when the emergency is actually occurring so that the plan can be executed flawlessly and very, very quickly,” Fraser explained.

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