Missouri security firm explains outs in active shooter scenario
GRANDVIEW, Mo. – Lock in, get out or get out. Every situation is different, but a Grandview, Missouri company that specializes in security says it usually boils down to three basic options in active shooter situations.
Former SWAT officer turned security consultant Vaughn Baker saw the harrowing video broadcast live by a gunman at a Buffalo grocery store before shooting 13 people, killing 10.
Baker is unsure if there was a possibility for anyone to take action like those taken at a California church over the weekend where parishioners subdued and then tied up the shooter. But he said there are things you can do to try to save yourself.
“They fell victim to what we call normality bias. They’re so biased against the normalcy that happens every day that they tried to rationalize what they were hearing, those gunshots, those screams. After that, there was a delay in doing anything productive that could have saved their lives.
Baker said to think three out, lock in, out or out.
“That sound of those gunshots bouncing off all the walls so it’s hard to understand, you want to get out of the immediate area you’re in to the closest area you can secure. If it’s acts as an exit door, you can completely exit the building,” Baker said.
If you can’t find a door with a lock, Strategos International trains businesses, churches, and schools to secure the door based on how it opens, either by barricading it or tying it down. They’ve taken nearly a quarter of a million people in 15 countries through what-if scenarios over the past two decades.
“I love it when people hide, it makes my job easier to hide in the fetal position,” Baker said in one of the recorded practice drills where he portrayed the shooter.
“If you were begging for your life and trying to negotiate for your life, you are giving him visual confirmation that he is now going from victim to aggressor. Surprisingly, for most people, this makes the situation worse,” said said Baker.
So, as a last alternative, maybe it’s time to fight back.
“If there are 3 or 4 people ready to fight together, it becomes a formidable force. But again, we’re not advocating that this be your first option. It’s your last resort, but it may be your only resort, Baker said.
What do you use to retaliate? Everything and anything around you. Baker said to throw things not necessarily to disable the shooter, but to distract them until you or someone can take the shooter out, hopefully when it reloads.
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