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What to do in an active shooter situation: Run, hide, fight

Posted at 9:32 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 22:32:15-05

Active shooter situations are becoming all too common across the country. While the threat is real, there are some things you can do to prepare and protect yourself and others.

Run, hide, fight: that's what one former law enforcement officer said is what you should do if you ever find you ever find yourself in an active shooter situation.

Several people were inside the mall at the time of the shooting, Adriana Molina was one of them. She said once she realized what was happening all she could think to do at that moment was run.

We've all seen the videos, heard the shots, and screams but Adriana Molina lived through it all.

WARNING: This video contains audio that may be disturbing for some. Viewer discretion is advised.

Web: 1 injured, suspect sought in Killeen Mall shooting

"You're thinking about your family, you're thinking about so many things, and you're not sure if someone is actually going to get into the store," Molina said.

One second she was leaving Finishline, heading towards H&M with her AirPods in. Molina says when she made it to H&M she saw people running, then the next thing she knew, she was hiding in a storage room.

Molina said, "I was in shock and I mean I still am mean whenever I go back and think about the situation it's just very shocking to me."

Dr. Tammy Bracewell said always run away from gunfire, and hide if you can't run.

Bracewell said, "Hide, you want to hide. Be as silent as possible, and ensure that you are somewhere that the shooter cannot see, you ideally would not think to look there for you."

Bracewell said fighting the shooter should, even if you have a firearm, be the last resort.

"Most people who carry weapons have very little training. I would strongly encourage individuals who have little to no training to not engage at all," Bracewell said.

Bracewell said it's important not to engage with a shooter is because when law enforcement does arrive on the scene, they won't immediately be able to tell who the actual shooter is.

"If you engage a suspect, and law enforcement arrives on the scene, law enforcement has no way to know who you are versus who the suspect is. All they see is someone with a gun. So you have to keep that in mind," said Bracewell.

If you are running away from an active shooter situation Bracewell said you should hold both hands up with your fingers spread because it makes it easier for law enforcement to react.

Always being aware of your surroundings and having an exit strategy no matter where you go is also something to keep in mind.

"One of the biggest things that you can do is always have an exit strategy," Bracewell said. "Just make that part of your normal routine. If you go into a restaurant if you go into a convenience store, department store whatever type of facility you're going in to have an exit strategy. Know more than one escape route. So that if you needed it, you would know it and won't have to figure it out in that time or seconds matter."