Active shooter survival class a 'safe space' for everyone to learn

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — After the attack on Club Q, a former Colorado Springs police officer held an active shooter survival class, promoted as a safe space for all people to attend.

Lori Torrini worked with the Colorado Springs Police Department for 21 years, but has at least three decades of martial arts and self-defense experience. Currently, she is the director of Spirit Keeper Animal Sanctuary and owns her own business where she does a lot of animal training and behavior work.

However, she still teaches human behavior classes, such as personal safety, self-defense, defusing hostile people, and in this case, active shooter survival.

Torrini said she was asked to hold this class after the Club Q shooting. The class was advertised as a safe space for all communities, specifically the LGBTQ+ community.

“All we can control are our actions once the shooting starts. We can control what we do at that point. And that’s what this class was about,” Torrini said.

The three main options during an active shooter situation are to run, hide, or fight.

Nathan Heintzelman was one of the students in the class on Sunday afternoon.

“I identify as a pansexual, nonbinary individual,” Heintzelman said. “Still learning about myself, understanding myself, but coming out of my shell slowly, but surely.”

Heintzelman said Club Q was where he met so many amazing friends and discovered a community that felt like family. The mass shooting at Club Q, along with anxiety, encouraged Heintzelman to attend the class.

“In a real instance, you don’t have that second chance,” said Heintzelman. “Prior to today, I probably would have froze. I would have absolutely froze and freaked out. After today, I feel a little bit more confident in my ability to be able to run, hide, or fight… I feel better. But I also feel frustration of like, why do we have to do this?”

He believes it is disgusting that such classes even have to happen, but says such horrific acts of violence will not control how he lives his life.

“You can be prepared as much as you want to be,” said Heintzelman. “But never let that stop you.”

Torrini said she will conduct classes similar to this upon request. She can be reached by emailing BehaviorEducationLLC@gmail.com.

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