SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Theaters, malls and schools are places you’re not supposed to be afraid of. But none are immune to active shooter situations.
Experts with Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Program (ALERRT) say they don’t want people to live in fear but to understand these situations can happen. By taking a few minutes to think how you would react right now, may save your life later.
“It’s natural to be scared, everybody is scared when someone’s trying to cause them harm,” said ALERRT executive director, Pete Blair. “Our first recommendation is to avoid the attacker, if you can do that. If for some reason you can’t, deny access to your location, keep them from getting to you. And that defending yourself is the last resort.”
Open spaces, like a movie theater, leave you with the fewest options. ALERRT trainers say it’s alright to duck down, but don’t stay put.
“One thing we don’t want to see you do is what we call ‘hide and hope.’ Which is where someone hides behind something and hopes the shooter doesn’t find them. If the shooter does find you, doesn’t leave many options,” said Blair.
He says if it does come down to defending yourself, better to fight back than to do nothing.
Blair teaches people to grab a hold of the gun and get it pointed away from you.
He says when you’re fighting for your life, you don’t have to fight fairly.
“Hit weak spots, bite, gauge eyes, pull hair, whatever it takes.”
Right now, ALERRT only trains law enforcement, but has recently partnered with a company to bring the training to the public.
KXAN will keep you posted on when that training begins.