Facing an Active Shooter Situation

by todaystrainingblog

March 15, 2013


You see police shootouts on Tv. read about them. maybe think about them. 

But what should you do if you ever encounter an active shooter situation?

Sometimes, even trained security officers, police officers, and soldiers don’t know.  Every situation is different … and most of us aren’t security or police officers. Even as ex-military, we may not be fully prepared for such an event in civilian life.

So what should you do to save yourself, friends, and loved ones if bullets start flying in your business, or the one you’re visiting?

There are several possibilities

Let me tell you what I think is best  

Some states allow citizens to openly carry their firearms. If you want to, and you live in such a state, by all means do so.  (States with the least restrictive firearm laws are usually see the fewest firearm crimes. And rarely do mass shootings occur in a state that allows open carry).

But if you’re at work, school, or out and about, that may not be an option for you or your cohorts.  However, a useful methodology has developed over the past year or so:  it’s called “Run, Hide, or Fight.” It works like this:

1:  Run … Run if you can, because it’s the safest thing to do. If you can get out of the line of fire and away from the area where the shooter is, do it. This is why evacuation plans exist in most businesses. Although only 17% of businesses have an active shooter evacuation plan, it still makes sense.

If your employer doesn’t have such a plan, then do what you can to make up your own. If you know that the shooter is a current/former employee, then take this advice; DO NOT take the planned evacuation routes.

What?  How crazy is that?  But think: who knows the evacuation route better than a current/former employee? If that shooter is going to target specific people, then they’ll know which routes to cover and began shooting at those who are running to get out.

So discover some other little way to get out of your facility that is less risky and not known as well – but stay safe.

2:  Hide … If you can take cover and hide, do it.  Find a good “hidey hole” and stay there until the police or other emergency personnel come looking for you and everyone else.  It doesn’t matter where this “hidey hole” is, just as long as it will keep you safe and sound.

Ensure that it is:

  • behind a cabinet …
  • behind or under a desk …
  • inside a closet that locks …
  • in a storm cellar …
  • or something similar.

Once you’re there, stay quiet. It does no good to hide away from a shooter, but then make a sound that gives away your location. If you have asthma or a cold, that may not be possible — so in that case, for the sake of your friends or co-workers, find another place to hide.

Two final options

3:  Fight … Actually, you can do one of two things …

ü  Your first option is again to run if you can.  If you decide you can make it out of your “hidey hole” and be safe, then by all means make a run for it.

ü  Your second option is to fight back.  If you encounter the shooter, you may have to fight them, possibly for your life. Use whatever is at hand to distract them and get the sights off yourself.  Throw stuff.  Staplers, cups, vases, books, folders, binders, phones, even chairs — anything freestanding you can get your hands on — make excellent weapons at a moment’s notice.  Not to mention your own hands, feet, and arms!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Keep in mind that most active shooter incidents are targeted. If people other than the intended victims get shot, it’s because the shooter’s aim was off or people accidentally got in the way.  

Despite what the media and talking heads would have you believe most shooters will not just randomly start shooting at anyone and everyone.

For your and your friends’ future safety, memorize the elements of Run, Hide, Fight … though we pray you never need them, you never know when you might.


We at Sollars Security Shield (Today’s Training LLC) are ready, willing, and able to assist you in designing, writing, developing, and implementing your active shooter plans.

Call us at 480-251-5197, or 480-495-4186