MOUNT PLEASANT, TX (KLTV) - In response to the Sutherland Springs shooting, an East Texas sheriff is extending an offer to churches to help increase security, and in some cases, fight back against potential attacks.
Like everyone else, Titus County Sheriff Tim Ingram watched the news of the Sutherland Springs shooting and was horrified.
"It's just gut-wrenching. I don't buy this is mental illness. I believe there's such thing called evil. It's just pure evil," he says.
Ingram has put out an offer of security expertise to East Texas churches to help them do something to protect themselves against such an attack.
"We're going to go out and do on-site inspections of every church that wants us to come out," Tim says.
The sheriff says there are some simple actions that churches can take.
"What I see with most churches is usually your door is going to be to the back and all your congregation is going to be facing the pastor. That's a disadvantage. If it's a glass door, put bars on it. Just to have on camera there and a monitor. Depending on how many doors they have, they may want to lock the doors. There again you have to watch your building codes," Ingram says.
And the sheriff says it's time to talk about armed defense.
"I do think it's time for churches to start arming themselves. It's sad that we've come to this, but it's hard to know who is going to do what, when there's no warning," says Tim.
And being watchful even in church.
"Not only to monitor who comes in and out, but how to react differently when this happens. They can fight back," Ingram says.
Ingram says he will spend the next month visiting churches who wish to create effective security at their buildings.