Police share survival tips for an active shooter situation

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville Police, along with the Police Community Relations Committee, hosted a meeting Tuesday night to discuss what to do in case of an active shooter.

During the meeting, police talked about a plan called “Run, Hide, and Fight” that would help you decide what to do in a given situation. They said if there is an option to run, that should be your first choice.

Lt. Richard Tyndall with Greenville Police’s Special Operations said law enforcement is trained to neutralize any existing threats first.

“Until we’ve encountered the bad guy, whoever it is, we’re not going to stop for the people laying in the hallway,” he said, adding that helping those injured is secondary. He warns people that police could have their weapons pointed towards them, and even handcuff them, until they know who, and where, the danger is.

In June 2013, an active shooter situation arose in Greenville when a shooter opened fire at a law firm and the Greenville Walmart. Tyndall said that situation helped Greenville Police prepare for another potential situation.

“We debriefed. What could we have done better? How was our training matching up to what we see in real life,” Tyndall said.

Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman said, in this day and age, law enforcement officers are asked to do a lot.

“You want that police officer to do everything from be our guardian in the neighborhood, play ball with our kids, and go up against the very terrorist around the world and could be very much here in our community,” Holtzman said.

During a Powerpoint, Tyndall broke down how many people had been killed, or injured, at public places during a mass shooting:

  1. Fast food restaurant: 21 killed, 19 wounded
  2. Attending class: 32 killed, 25 wounded
  3. At a shopping center: 6 killed, 13 wounded
  4. At work: 13 killed, 29 wounded

Police said while preventing a shooting from happening is difficult, there are things people can do to help police when they arrive. The first, and maybe most important, is give a detailed description, starting from the head down, of the suspect(s). Beyond that, they said people should avoid doing any of the following:

  • Point or yell at the shooter when officers arrive
  • Make quick movements
  • Run towards officers
  • Have anything in your hands

They said by staying out of the way and protecting yourself, you could help save your own life as well as the lives of others.

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