LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Police say an active shooter opened fire on other drivers Wednesday on the Centennial Bridge that crosses from Leavenworth County to Platte County.
An active-duty soldier from Ft. Leavenworth stepped up to stop the shooter, ramming him with his vehicle and likely saving countless lives.
But many drivers were unprepared for such violence, as they were likely going through their normal, mid-morning routines.
FOX4 talked with experts about you should do if you ever find yourself in a sitting duck position during an active shooting situation.
Sgt. Jason Gammill heads one of the Tactical Response Teams with KCPD.
“Our standard protocol with an active shooter is run, hide, fight,” he said. “Nothing changes when you’re in a vehicle. You still have to keep your options open.”
He explained that, as police officers, they’re trained to think in the mindset of “what if” — to envision different scenarios. He advises the general public does the same.
“When you’re going have the road, you know, always have an escape plan,” Hammill said. “If you’re in a vehicle and you have an opportunity to run away, I strongly suggest that. If you can turn around and put it in reverse, you know, drive through it, do what you have to do.”
If you can’t run though, like the drivers stuck on Centennial Bridge on Wednesday, the next thing to do is hide.
“A vehicle is a good source of cover, but there are certain parts of the vehicles that are better than others,” Hammill said. “If you see an active shooter that’s actively shooting in your direction, the best thing you to do is get as much of the engine block as you can because that’s where you’re covered.
“The glass would be nothing more to conceal, the bullets are going to go right through the windshield. Make yourself a smaller target and get down as low as you possibly can.”
Worst case, you’re out in the open or you’re stuck.
“If you have nowhere else to go, it’s like being trapped in an office or something like that,” he said. “Lock your doors, you know, find some type of weapon. Don’t be a victim. Be in a position where you’re at least able to fight.”
“If he walks up to your vehicle, have a plan. Hit him with your door, grab a tire iron, grab your kid’s baseball bat in the backseat of the car. Find something. Something is better than nothing,” Hammill said.