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PA army veterans devise potential defense for active shooter situations

WARWICK TOWNSHIP, P.A. --- Two active shooter attacks in the past month, one at a country music concert in Las Vegas and, more recently, at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas have left close to 100 people dead.

Three central Pennsylvania Army National Guard veterans of the 56th Stryker Brigade combat team believe they have a defense for the most common places.

Retired SGT. Dan Navin and CPT.James Ostman created the idea while at Drexel University.

Retired CAPT. Chris Whitcomb has since joined their effort, Ballistic Cordon Systems, LLC.

The idea places deployable curtains, filled with steel plating, can come down and stop gunfire during an active shooter attack.

"The current doctrine now for an active shooter situation is to run, hide, fight. This system basically helps you do the first two, run and hide," said Navin.

The primary goal of the bulletproof curtains is to block a shooter's line of sight.

They want their creation to be used in schools, stadiums, open forums, dance clubs and businesses.

"They're staggered in a way that even if someone comes out in the hallway, they have an egress route. The shooter can step to the side but the next curtain would block their line of sight, and so on and so forth," said Whitcomb.

The creators said installment, for example in a school, would require an average of 75 storage bins for curtains with a cost of half a million dollars.

Once activated, they say it will take three to four seconds for the curtains to full deploy.

The original idea for deployment was similar to a fire alarm system.

However, after several meetings, including one most recently with an off-the-record school district in August, deployment would be in the hands of individuals.

"We didn't get the impression that they wanted to provide blanket accessibility to just anybody. I think they wanted to maintain some type of administrative control over it," said CPT. Ostman.

Ostman also said it is currently a patent-pending system and there is no official plan for installation in a business or school district at this point.