STT Security Officer Jacob Urban was recently at the center of an armed assailant situation. Due to his quick thinking, consideration for others, and irrefutable dependability, Officer Urban has received STT Security’s Eagle Eye award. Read more about the events that unfolded in our interview with Officer Urban below:
A couple months back, I was at work like any other normal day. It was a Friday night, probably around 10:30pm. I was doing routine patrols around [the premises], just starting my shift off for the night, when I received a call over the radio from a (now prior) colleague, Officer Francis. I assumed it was the usual, “I’ve wrapped up all my tasks and am headed home” chatter. Instead, I was met with a dire warning: “there were just shots fired in the parking lot, right outside [the movie theater].”
I froze, my heart sank, and I asked him to clarify. “There were just shots fired in the parking lot near [theater], you need to go check on the people there!”
I made my way to the theater entrance immediately. As I approached, I saw the theater’s gates were already closed; it was then I knew the threat was real and imminent. While my colleagues were on their way, I ran towards the exterior door to the parking lot to lock it. I got away from the door and began my communications with responding police officers. I could feel the tension between all of us and the mall/theater guests. I ensured everyone we would be alright, but we needed to stay put and wait for direction from law enforcement.
Honestly, I was unsure of what to do next, but I knew someone needed to step up. I called our security director to apprise him of the situation. I communicated closely with responding authorities and guests of [the mall and theater]. At this point, we weren’t sure if anyone had actually been shot or if the shooter was still active. The entire premises was on lock-down while we anxiously waited.
After nearly two hours, the active shooter situation was deemed over by responding police officers. The lock-down was lifted, and guests were able to return to their normal activities. My supervisor arrived, and him, Officer Francis, and I conducted a thorough search of the entire property to ensure everything was locked up and safe. Responding police officers slowly but surely dispersed as well, with the last officer leaving around 3:00am. Then, everything was finally back to normal.
It was certainly an interesting experience for me. As strange as it seems, I didn’t feel as scared as I thought I would. When people ask me about it, they say “weren’t you scared?” Honestly, that wasn’t what was going through my mind. I tell them that the hardest part was not being necessarily being scared of the shooter, but rather it was knowing that a shooting had just happened and I was the one who had to deal with it. On some level, I knew the threat to myself was quite low; police were responding and the building was secured. I was more worried about the pressure of the circumstances – that I would fail to respond appropriately and make a mistake, or that a lapse in my decision making could gravely affect others.
Looking back, I’m just happy everyone ended up making it out okay. That’s really all you can hope for.