Run, hide and fight. Those are the simple but terrifying steps authorities say people should take if faced with a gunman.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office held an active shooter training event at First Assembly of God Church in Fort Myers Saturday. More than 600 people in Southwest Florida attended the event to learn how to respond to that type of crisis.
“Well, unfortunately, it’s happening more and more, no matter where we live,” Diana Ferucci said. “It’s scary.”
People who attended the event spent four hours learning how to use those steps. They may seem obvious, but when gun shots are heard, the steps can become a lot more complicated.
“I kind of want to go into the medical field and to understand more so of what I can do even off the job basically to help others,” Lena Wallace said.
These kinds of events are trending statewide and nationwide.
“A lot of people think that you know this will never happen,” said Scott Griffith with LCSO. “I’ll never be in a situation like this.”
At this time, it can happen anywhere.
“It’s very unfortunate that we’re here to talk about active shooters,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said. “I wish we weren’t, but the fact is, we are going to be proactive.”
That means putting yourself in the situation mentally before it happens.
- Get away
- Situate yourself near exits
- Scan your area
- Help others, but don’t wait
- And, plan for your abilities
“Having a blueprint, having a plan of action and your mind to say if something happens this is how I am going to react,” Stacey Paine with LCSO. “These are the steps or things I’m going to do. The more we train in anything, the better chance we have in surviving any incident.”
- Stay low
- Barricade your area
- Silence your phone
- Then, wait
If you must, fight.
“We know the more training you have, the better chance you have of surviving,” Payne said.
Some bigger questions were addressed such as, “Why innocent people are asked to put their hands up during a shooting.”
Deputies said that’s so they can see immediately you’re not a threat, and they can move onto the actual threat.