Iowan's safety device used in lockdown during UCLA shooting - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowan's safety device used in lockdown during UCLA shooting

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(KWWL) -

A local Iowan played a part in the safety of students and staff during the UCLA shootings this week.

On Wednesday, a gunman opened fire on the UCLA campus killing one professor and himself.

Originally thought to be a murder-suicide, police now say the gunman had a hit list which included at least one other UCLA professor.

Also on the list, a Minnesota woman, who police say was the gunman's wife.

She was found dead in a Minnesota home. According to police, she died before the UCLA shooting.

KWWL's Jessica Hartman talking with the Iowa man who's safety device was used during the campus wide-lock down, possibly saving lives.

A former Muscatine teacher and UNI graduate, Daniel Nietzel saw a need to lock classroom doors from the inside quickly and in 2013, he came up with a solution.

Created to prevent situations like the one at UCLA this week from claiming more lives, The Sleeve is a simple, but effective solution to prevent an attacker from entering a room.

Designed by Daniel Nietzel, a middle school teacher and four of his colleagues in 2013, this was the first time the product had been tested in an active shooter situation.

"That individual put the sleeve on the door. It was himself and four other women in there. He said, it was very scary. It was tense. They didn't know what was going on. Having that sleeve up there and actually seeing in action and prevent that door from opening, he said was very powerful," said Nietzel, recalling his email from the UCLA professor.

Although it was not the shooter attempting to enter, it proved what an impact this device, created here in Iowa, can make in a situation that has become all to familiar in the United States.

"It is meant to keep people safe. That is the bedrock of our company. It has always been that; keep students, keep teachers, keep individuals safe. To know that it did that in a moment when they needed it. That makes all of the ups and downs that we have gone through as a company totally worth it," said Nietzel.

This may be a new venture for this teacher, but he says an active shooter situation is something he has always worried about in his classroom; a lasting impact from his childhood, seeing the images of the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999.

"But for some reason, that thought sticks with me. I remember saying that to my mom. I remember her getting mad at me for saying it, but in my heart at that time, in my mind, my middle school mind thinking I really wanted to help," said Nietzel.

More than 5,000 Sleeves have been sold to customers all 50 states in the last two years.

In this case, the sleeve was purchased personally by the UCLA professor.

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