Unfortunately, the news of an active shooter situation is not something that is new in America. In fact, between the years 2000 and 2016 were 220 incidents of an active shooter situation, according to the FBI. In these 220 incidents, there have been 1,486 casualties (including killed and wounded) and 661 have been killed.
But while policymakers and police continue to work toward solutions that will decrease the amount of active shooter situations, we must be prepared to deal with this specific emergency situation while we’re in public—whether it’s malls, movie theaters, schools, or church. Sometimes it might feel as though we are helpless in this situation, but there are things we can do to protect ourselves from harm if we ever find ourselves in this unfortunate situation.
Here are a few tips from the U.S. government on how to evade an active shooter.
Make a Plan Together
Although unfortunate, it’s important to make a plan with your family on what you would do if you found yourselves in an active shooter situation. When you enter a room in a public space, always look for the two nearest exits and have an escape plan in mind or places you could hide if necessary.
Run, Fight, Hide
The government has outlined a few simple steps to remember if you’re ever in an active shooter situation.
- Run: If you are ever in a public place where there is an active shooter, the main thing you should be trying to do is to get as far away from the shooter as possible. You shouldn’t worry about your belongings and just focus on getting out of the situation. Once you get outside, you should warn and prevent others from entering the active crime scene. When you are finally safe, call 9-1-1 and tell police where the shooter is, what they look like, and what weapons they were using.
- Hide: If you are in a situation where escape isn’t a possibility, the next best thing to do is to hide and get out of the shooter’s view. Stay very quiet, silence all your electronic devices, and lock or block any doors, close the blinds, and turn off the lights. If possible, try to communicate with the police silently. Do not leave your hiding spot until the police arrive and can safely escort you outside.
- Fight: Fighting with the shooter should be your absolute last resort. If you choose to do this, act as aggressively as possible and recruit other people to ambush the shooter with objects around the room like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, desks, etc. When you fight with the shooter, be prepared to severely or fatally injure the shooter.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an active shooter or workplace violence incident in Georgia, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Click here for more information about the Fry Legal team and to set up a consultation to learn more about your legal rights.