Kirk Evans, President, Texas & U.S. Law Shield:
“Run, Hide, Fight”: The three steps you should take in an active shooter situation. Okay, when evacuation is impossible, it’s time to hide. Here is Trent Lozano…
Trent Lozano, law enforcement veteran:
Sometimes there are going to be limitations on whether or not you’re able to actually escape. Sometimes there’s physical limitations. Sometimes there’s barriers. You know, if you’re on the tenth floor of an office building when this occurs, chances are it’s going to be a barrier for you to make it out of the building. There’s only a couple of ways you can do that, and you certainly don’t want to do the fast way.
I recommend if you cannot escape or you have some sort of limitation or barrier that keeps you from being able to escape, the next best option is to hide and barricade yourself in a position. You want to find some space that hopefully is lockable. That’s why we talked about earlier knowing where those bathrooms. If there’s office buildings or some sort of office space that you can go into, lock the doors, barricade and fortify your position as best you can.
So, what that looks like is, you go in. Try to get as much heavy items as you can and put them in front of the doorway, couches, refrigerators, desks, anything that you can get to block access to that doorway in. Obviously if there’s a lock, you want to lock it. Some of these places, depending on where you might be, may have windows, glass around there. You want to obstruct the visibility as best you can. Turn out the lights inside. You want to make this look like no one’s there. Because if no one’s there, then the shooter thinks there’s no targets in there, and they go on to something else.
One of the other things that I recommend everyone do is silence your cell phones. If the shooter is going down the hall and, you know, all the lights are out and the doors are locked, everything looks empty and then all of a sudden, like, 20 phones start ringing or vibrating — have you ever heard 30, 40 phones start vibrating at one time? It sounds like an earthquake emanating out of that room.
The thing is somebody in that room is going to have to stand up and say, this is what we need to do. Now, everybody do this. I’m somebody. You are somebody. You may have to be the one to stand up and stay, hey, lock the door. Everybody help me put heavy stuff in front of this doorway here. Block the doorways. Close the blinds. Shut those lights off. And turn your cell phone off or put them on silent, not vibrate. You may have to be the one to stand up and do that.
Now, you can probably — you can probably bet on no one’s going to silence their phone. That’s going to be an issue. You can probably bet on about 20 percent of the people that will actually jump in and help.
So, you have to understand, depending on how many people are in that space, your resources could be limited. The other thing you want to do is start looking around that space and see if there’s any sort of improvised weapons you can use, whether it is a blunt instrument, some sort of heavy object or edged weapon, anything, scissors, you know, whatever you can find that can give you an edge. Because what you don’t want to do is you don’t want to have to attack empty handed if you don’t have to. Because your third and final option if you —
Obviously, evacuation is preferred. But if you can’t evacuate, then you want to hide and barricade. If hide and barricade didn’t work and the shooter actually makes it back around to you, you’re down to your last option now.
Kirk Evans, president of Texas and U.S. Law Shield:
From Columbine to Sandy Hook, from Virginia Tech to the Navy Shipyards, and from Orlando to San Bernardino, the phrase ‘Active Shooter’ has become all too common. On behalf of Texas and U.S. Law Shield, I hope that we have provided you some insight that can help you through one of these tragic situations. For more information on our Active Shooter series or how to join the more than 200,000 law-abiding gunowners we protect, visit TexasLawShield.com or USLawShield.com. Thank you.