NEW JERSEY (WPIX) — As mass shootings continue to plague American life, whether it be inside schools or workplace, military veteran Jake Ahle said he isn’t waiting around for the next mass casuality.
He and Pete Facchini, both New Jersey natives, have created a line of bulletproof bookcases that can serve as a last line of defense when a mass shooter enters the premises.
“The bookcase itself weighs 480 pounds, the exoskeleton is made of steel and it’s lined with Kevlar,” Ahle told Nexstar’s WPIX. “Hidden underneath the bottom of the steel skirt are four wheels and those wheels make it a very mobile.”
If an active shooter enters the school, the bookcase can be wheeled in front of any classroom entrances. Once the bookcase is secured and locked in place, which takes a matter of seconds, the would-be shooter would not have any access inside the room, and would only be met with a mounted mirror on the back of the bookcase.
A mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 was the initial catalyst that prompted Ahle and Facchini to create the product. Their Georgia-based company ProtectED saw a recent surge in sales following the tragedy in Uvalde that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
“In the event that our product was there in the classroom, we could have prevented that active shooter from being able to actually gain access into the classroom,” he said.
“The mirror on the back is our way of trying to communicate to the active shooter to cause pause and delay,” Ahle said.
Sadly, this modern-day line of defense could become essential in the United States — but its founders hope it never needs to be used.
“We are just focused on making sure that we are providing protection for the children in schools,” Ahle said.