Active shooter; what to do?

Deputies and officers from several law enforcement agencies work the scene of a mass shooting that killed 14 people and wounded more than a dozen others in San Bernardino Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (James Quigg/The Victor Valley Daily Press via AP)

(WTNH) — It’s a nightmare situation that nobody wants to be caught in. But as mass shootings continue to plague the country, the Department of Homeland Security teaches three key steps that may save your life in an active shooter situation: Run, hide, or last resort, fight.

“Typical time-frame for active shooter is 12 minutes,” said Kenneth Gray, a retired FBI agent. “A third of all active shooter situations are over within five minutes.”

Twenty four years as an FBI special agent turned Gray into an expert in counter intelligence and counter terrorism. He said the first action may also be your first instinct; if it’s safe to run, then run.

“Don’t stop to pick up anything, don’t stop to make a phone call, just leave the area,” Gray said.

If you can’t escape by making a run for it, then find a good place to hide. Be aware that you may have to use furniture to barricade the door.

“Hide means if you have a locked room, lock the door, turn the lights off, put your cell phone on silent,” Gray said.

If you can’t run away, and there is nowhere to hide, the final option is to fight back.

“Your last resort is to fight and you’re fighting for your life,” Gray said. “All out fight. Pick up anything and use it as a weapon. Use a chair, use a coat rack. Throw your telephone at him.”

If you define a mass shooting as at least four people being shot during one incident, then the Washington Post reports that there have been more than 350 mass shooting incidents this year alone. There are on average about 30 thousand gun deaths each year in the United States.

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