Expert discusses the four things you need to be prepared to do should a mass shooting occur

Posted at 9:16 PM, Dec 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-02 23:16:53-05

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.  -- A mass shooting occurred in San Bernardino Wednesday, and it’s far from the first such event to occur in the United States recently.

“It seems that this is not something that going to go away, there’s been hundreds of these mass shootings in the last few years,” said Lt. Lex Bell of the Unified Police Department.

Bell says you do not need to walk around in fear, but you do need to be prepared.  One of Utah’s most well-known trainers for active shooter situations is Colonel Randy Watt, who is retired from US Army Special Forces.  He says there are four things, in order of importance, you need to be prepared to do.

“First, Flee.  If you can get out, no matter what, get out,” said Colonel Watt.

He added, “Number two, if you can’t flee, barricade.”

Watt says time is a shooter’s worst enemy.  The longer you can delay, the more time you give police to arrive.

“Number three is hide,” he said.

Watt says to try and find a place outside the normal flow of traffic, as it will make you less likely to be spotted.

“Four, if you can’t do any of those first three, then consider an attack," he said.

If you have to attack, there are some things he says you need to remember.

"When you attack, do it full force, full speed," Watt said. " If you can use objects and throw them, anything to distract his aim, but make it a full-fledged attack.  Don't go out easy, go out fighting."

When police do arrive, comply with their commands immediately.  Police cannot make assumptions about who is the real threat.

You’ll likely be asked to put your hands up and you may be frisked.  Comply as quickly as possible, giving officers more time to identify the real threat.

Watt had one other piece of advice: Don’t assume someone else has called 911.  Make the call yourself if you can, and be prepared to describe what you can see and hear. Also, try to leave the line open, which allows dispatchers to listen to what is happening.