When Shooters Are Roaming the Streets or the halls of Your Building

Active Shooter Mass Shooting

Shelter in place, lock the doors, shut off the lights, and do not answer the door. You have heard and seen it all on the news. Frantic citizens calling into news’ organizations recounting the horrors of a mass shooting, and you can hear the fear in their voices as they huddle in their darkened homes. Fearing the worst as they read emergency alerts on their smart phones, looking around in panic, is there a gunman in my home, my office building, is one hiding in my backyard.

Homeowners stare in horror as SWAT teams with weapons at the ready rush by their windows in a crouch. Watch as they sprint up their driveways, and the homeowners stare wide eyed as police surround tool sheds, garages, and anything that could hide a shooter.

What Do You Do

You do shelter in place, and if caught out in the open find a structure in which to take cover. You need solid objects between you and rifle or pistol rounds. You may need protection from possible shrapnel as well. You need concealment so you do not become a target. You move away from the gunfire and you find a shelter.

The news organizations seem to love videos taken by the average person. They do caution people however, not to put themselves in danger while filming, nonetheless, it is obvious they want or even need the amateur footage, because we, sitting at home hundreds if not thousands of miles away need to know what is going on every second. Forget trying to become a YouTube video sensation, protect yourself first.

At The Office

Not everyone has a corner office with a view, so what do you do if your work space is a cubical. There will be offices, janitor closets, conference rooms, copier rooms, document storage rooms, and so on where you and others can seek cover. Your office should have an emergency plan for an active shooter situation, and if they do not, then ask why not.

Nevertheless, take it upon yourself to find a place to go before there is a shooter in the building, or in a building across the street, or when shooters are loose in the streets. You need cover from rounds, and concealment from a shooter’s scope or sights.

At Home

Stay inside, preferably in a room without windows or outside walls. Have your cell/landline phone with you in the safe room. Stockpile a few supplies, like bottled water, snacks, and flashlights. Consider keeping a secured firearm and ammunition in the room as well.

Make sure you can reach a bathroom without passing by a window or outside door, otherwise, designate a safe room with a bathroom in it.

You, as an average person cannot stop a mass shooting. The only thing you can do is to react to the situation as it unfolds. You need a plan and you need to practice that plan so it becomes natural to make certain moves when you hear gunfire or get an alert that there is a shooter loose in the neighborhood. It takes time to develop habits however, but stay with it, and have drills periodically, so there is no question you know what moves to make without thinking about them.

Mass shootings are evolving and the latest one in California is an example. Get inside the target zone quickly, kill as many as possible, and get out quickly. This means it was planned before hand, not a random one off in other words. The building and/or the people inside were a target, so hit the target, and get out. You could be standing on the street when it unfolds. You were not targeted, but will become a target if spotted by the shooter (s). From the first trigger pull anyone within site is a potential target.