Exclusive: Teacher says active shooter training saved her life in deadly officer-involved shooting after domestic incident

Teacher says active shooter training saved her life in deadly officer-involved shooting after domestic incident

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - This week you’ve probably heard the word’s “active shooter training” more than once.

Just in the past week, there have been two deadly mass shootings across our country and an officer-involved shooting that left one man dead here in Charlotte.

Active shooter training is something a lot of people understandably want right now, but for local Charlotte teacher Rebekah DiGavero, the active shooter training she had before, she says is what helped save her life.

“My sister and I were basically held hostage," DiGavero explained. “There was an incident that happened about a week ago."

DiGavero never thought it would happen to her.

DiGavero’s sister lives next door to her. DiGavero’s sister had just told her husband 51-year-old Delano Williams, that she wanted to separate.

DiGavero says that didn’t sit well with him. He went into what she called a “psychotic state” and he grabbed a gun.

“I was shot and we were told we were going to be killed," DiGavero said.

The bullet went through both of DiGavero’s knees, but her injuries didn’t stop her from taking action.

“He put the gun down really low on his side, and then I lunge on top of the gun to hold it down and I yelled to my sister who is there and I said ‘help me, this is our only chance!’”

DiGavero was determined to fight for their lives.

“We started wrestling for the gun, we started biting, doing everything we could to prevent him from hurting us, and it never would have even been an option in my mind, if I hadn’t of had active shooter training," she said.

That active shooter training is something she learned as a teacher, at Corvian Community School.

“Active shooter training teaches you that you need to respond and you need to take action," says DiGavero.

The training teaches you to fight for your life. That means buying yourself time, or eliminating the threat.

“They tell you in active shooter training if you have to, pick up a stapler and throw it at them as they are coming through the room try to grab the gun do something,” DiGavero said.

Which is exactly what DiGavero did.

Teacher says active shooter training saved her life

“But I do not think my sister and I would have survived, if I had not attacked him. I think that was a turning point," DiGavero explained.

By that time, police were arriving to the house.

“I was able to get free and go outside and tell the police where he was and my sister so that the police could intervene.”

DiGavero says Williams was about to shoot her sister.

“The police officer that shot my brother-in-law in this situation was a hero for what he did," says DiGavero. “Because I know that even though you’re a police officer, it doesn’t mean that its easy to shoot somebody.”

Rebekah says her actions she learned in active shooter training and the heroic actions of the police, kept her and her family alive.

“With whats happening in our society right now, we could be in a lot of situations not just schools where there are active shooters.”

She says active shooter training she learned as a teacher, saved her life, outside of the classroom.

Just a week after her life was put on the line, DiGavero is back at Corvian, as the staff held their annual active shooter training where she shared her story.

“I think it is extremely important not only as a teacher. I’ve always been very grateful for that training, and for the schools that I’ve worked at that have made that a priority.”

DiGavero is now recovering from her knee injuries.

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