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Collierville PD chief speaks on dealing with tragedy following mass shooting

Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane speaks candidly on grappling with trauma, heartache following a mass shooting at Kroger.

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — A week has done little to dull the pain for people who witnessed and experienced the shooting at a Kroger in Collierville.

Multiple shots were fired, shoppers and employees, ran in fear with some hiding in closets and freezers desperate to get away from bullets. That was the scene last Thursday at Kroger.

Collierville's police chief said he's never experienced anything like it in his decades in law enforcement and spoke candidly on how he's personally dealing with the tragedy.

“There’s not a lot of things going through your mind except get there,” said Lane.

The chief said his goal was to get between the shooter and potential victims.

“I have never seen firemen, paramedics, that didn’t go through that type of training, that didn’t have a firearm that were willing to go in, and that speaks volumes.”

Chief Lane said he felt a roller coaster of emotions.

“I think the good Lord prepares you with the adrenaline,” he said. “I saw people respond in such a wonderful way to help each other. I would just get emotional.”

The chief explained the shooting as a nightmare, especially for the relatives of 70-year-old shooting victim Olivia King. Her family said she went to church the morning before the mass shooting. Fourteen other people were injured before the gunman took his life.

“I know it’s traumatic, but good can come out of it and that’s the thing,” commented Lane. "We see so many examples of people and encouragement.”

Ultimately Lane believes we have a choice: we can allow someone to destroy our way of life or we can choose to move forward.

“You see the worst in humanity but you also see the best when people just wrap their arms around you.”

When asked what’s getting him through the pain, the chief credited his family.

“I’m blessed, when I go home at night I have a very beautiful wife to go home to,” Lane shared. “The house is clean and I’m going to get a smile and get an encouraging word.”

The chief said his force’s dedication helps as well having a balanced life.

He believes leading the Collierville Police Department is more than a job, but an honor and a calling.

“When you can serve people every day and know that it’s about making a difference for the next person that’s in your path, you can lay your head down at night and sleep well.”