GRANDVIEW, Mo. — Lock out, get out, or take out. Every situation is different, but a Grandview, Missouri company specializing in security says it usually comes down to three basic options in active shooter situations.
Former SWAT Officer turned security consultant Vaughn Baker has reviewed the heartbreaking video livestreamed by a shooter at a Buffalo grocery store before he shot 13 people, killing 10.
Baker’s unsure if there was any opportunity for anyone to take steps like those taken at a California church this weekend where parishioners subdued then hogtied the gunman. But he said there are things you can do to try to save yourself.
“They were the victims of what we call normalcy-bias. They are so bias to the normal that happens each and every day they tried to rationalize what they heard, those shots those screams. After that there was delay in doing something productive that could have saved their lives.”
Baker said think three outs, lock out, get out, or take out.
“That sound of those gunshots is bouncing off all the walls so its tough to figure out, you want to get out of the immediate area you are in to the closest area you can secure. If that happens to be an exit door you can get out of the building altogether,” Baker said.
If you can’t find a door with a lock, Strategos International trains businesses, churches and schools how to secure the door depending on how it opens, either barricading or tying it off. They’ve taken nearly a quarter million people in 15 countries through simulation scenarios the past two decades.
“I love it when people hide, it makes my job easier hiding in the fetal position,” Baker said in one of the recorded training exercises where he portrayed the shooter.
“If you beg for your life and try to negotiate for your life you are giving him visual confirmation he is now transitioning from victim to victimizer. Surprisingly, to most people it actually makes it worse,” Baker said.
So as a last alternative, it may be time to fight back.
“If there’s 3-4 people willing to fight together that becomes a formidable force. But again, we aren’t advocating that’s your first option. That’s your last resort but it may be your only resort, Baker said.
What do you use to fight back? Anything and everything around you. Baker said throw things not necessarily to disable the shooter, but to distract them until you or someone can take out the shooter, hopefully when he or she is reloading.