What to do in an active shooter situation at an event

- You're at a crowded event and bullets start flying.

As a lone gunman shoots down upon 22,000 people raising questions about how safe we are here at so-called soft targets.

"It is difficult to do, there's many soft targets," said Mark Hackel,  Macomb County executive. "It could be something small scale, large scale. You are talking about schools, churches and obviously some of the other sporting events or venues around the region, around the state and around the country.

"There's always going to be a soft target available and there's always going to be a soft target  for someone who wants to do something horrific. We hear something, it's terrible, tragic, and the next incident seems to one-up the last one than we've seen. So this was incredible to see how it played out."

Hackel was the Macomb County Sheriff and said he reflects back on his law enforcement background in looking at the situation.

"When people start to realize something is not right or you see something wrong, call it out," he said.

But for some there may be fear involved in doing that - not wanting to be accusing someone of something this case you're wrong.

"Am I over responding, am I overreacting? Is this really a strange situation? And that's true because without training we are going to have false positives," said Dale Brown from threatmanagementcenter.com

"The most important thing is not worrying about somebody saying I can't believe you accused me of something," Hackel said. "If you have a gut feeling 99.9 percent of the time you are right.

"If you see something, hear something or you see something on social media that looks like it might be adding up to something bad, brings it to law enforcement's attention. They will take it from there and they will start paying attention to  what some of these behaviors are."

What do you look for if you're ever in a situation where you think something may not be right?

"Looking at the person's behavior is vital," Brown said. "Not looking at the image that you see but are they cutting off your exit point, are they doing something that you can't explain? If you can't explain what they are doing that is probably suspicious behavior so then you need to contact law enforcement, security on site and 911 immediately."

After tragic events like this one, there are plenty of emotions one might feel.

"Shock, anxiety, anger, numbness," said Carrie Krawiec, Birmingham Maple Clinic therapist. "There will be a variety of emotions I would expect to feel and will tell people it's certainly okay to feel all of them.

"To even allow them to be aware of them the next time you are at an arena to feel a little anxious would be normal and actually okay it's going to make you more alert to what's going on around you, what the exits are and how to keep yourself safe. In that regard anxiety is okay.

"If it gets in the way of taking your kids to school or getting yourself to work if you're over involved in all of your activities in life and cannot do anything, it would certainly be appropriate to ask for help."
 

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories