RENO, NV (KOLO) - Staying on your toes and being prepared, nothing can fully describe the terror when you’re confronted by an active shooter. The proper reaction could mean the difference between life and death.
Law enforcement and self-defense instructors say people should think one step ahead. Experts say to be vigilant and always know where the closest exit is available.
Damon O’Connell with the Sparks Police Department says if you hear gunshots, run the opposite direction. “The object is let’s run, let’s try to find a spot where to run, find our exit and run.”
But if you can’t run, hide and take cover O’Connell says. “Find a door, find a locked door, find something you can get behind, to make it so you’re not visible.”
Self-defense Instructor of Reno Krav Maga, Shawn Kovacich, says there's survival in numbers. He says when you’re hiding with a group, ambushing the attacker could be your best bet.
“What they’re doing is trying to get the attention of the bad guy focused in one way, where I was hiding behind the door gave me the opportunity to ambush him.” Kovacich continued, “Grave risk for the people that are being a distraction, but you have to do something.”
But if you find yourself alone and face-to-face with the shooter, O’Connell and Kovacich say to fight back.
O’Connell says, “At this point it’s probably time to fight, that would be last case scenario. We never want to get you in a situation where you put yourself in immediate danger to fight, but if that is your only avenue that is where you have to go.”
Kovacich says, “If I can deflect that and the bullet goes off, I move out of the line of fire. I want to strike him repeatedly, as hard as I can to try to either knock him unconscious, or discombobulate him enough, that is going to make it easier, to do the disarm, where I can put the firearm away from him and then use it against him.”
O’Connell and Kovacich suggest taking a self-defense class and to always have a plan when you go out with your family and friends.
Copyright KOLO-TV 2019