Run, hide, fight: how to survive an active shooter situation

NORFOLK, Va. - After a deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, local security experts and law enforcement are sharing advice on how to survive an active shooter situation.

A gunman opened fire on a crowd on the Las Vegas strip Sunday night, killing at least 58 and injuring hundreds more.

The best advice from law enforcement in an active shooter situation: run, hide, or fight.

"The basics you need to do to survive an active shooter is basically you either need to decide to run to hide or to fight. It’s that simple," Virginia Beach Master Police Officer David Nieves told News 3's Todd Corillo Monday.

MPO Nieves runs the Virginia Beach Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit Active Threat Citizen Defense training course.

If possible, experts say the best way is to run away from the threat.

"Running should be your first and foremost response to any situation, but run with a purpose or trying to get away. Knowing where the danger is coming from because if you just start running you may run right into the danger," MPO Nieves commented.

However, in certain situations it may be better to remain in place and try to avoid detection.

"If you’re caught outside and you can take cover, such as the engine block of a vehicle or some type of brick masonry structure or fence, hide that way but with the mentality that you want to keep moving when the person reloads or the person moves or stops shooting so you can get out of that danger," MPO Nieves explained.

The last option, though the least preferable, is to fight the shooter with whatever means necessary.

"Fight is basically the last hope, if you have no other choice. We prefer that you run away or take good hiding where you can not only conceal yourself but cover where bullets can’t penetrate."

Security experts say its important to think about what you would do before getting into a situation, with critical seconds saved by knowing how you would react.

"I don’t count it as being paranoid, I think it’s more preparedness and making a plan - it’s too late to make a plan when it’s happening," MPO Nieves reiterated.

 

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