How to protect yourself in a mass shooting - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

How to protect yourself in a mass shooting

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(WTVM) -

After seeing the tragedy of the shooting at an Oregon mall, many people may be wondering what to do if they were ever in such a dangerous situation.

Shopper Marsha Thacker did not let fear after the Oregon mall shooting keep her from heading to some stores in Columbus on Thursday, but it did make her think about being safe.

"I'm much more aware of my surroundings when I come out too because it could happen here just like it could happen there," said Thacker

She says if she was anywhere when a mass shooting happened, she would try to be as calm as possible.

"I would have of course grabbed my child and go to the nearest exit," said Thacker.

Major Randy Robertson with the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office says you need to be familiar with your surroundings and the people around you, and if you are inside take note of where the exits are.

"The best thing to do is to either shelter in place, find a place where you can hide from the shooter or if you are near an exit, exit the building and find you a place to hide in the parking lot," said Robertson.

Even though the idea of someone attacking you at a mall or theater is terrifying, Robertson says the majority of shootings happen where the suspect knows the victims like at the work place.

He says if you cannot get out of the building close and lock your door and hide.

"In this situation, behind shelves or something like that would be a great place to conceal yourself or if you could get in between the desks or get up under the desk and pull the chair in where you are. The thing you have to remember once you get in there and concealed, you have to be quiet. If you have to use your cell phone to notify somebody then notify somebody outside that you trust by text message or something like that."

Thacker says her thoughts and prayers are with the victims from the most recent tragedy.

"It's just a tragedy that it has come to this. That you feel that you can't even really get out and go for fear that something is going to happen to you," said Thacker.

Robertson says unarmed witnesses should never approach a suspect. He says if you see anything unusual when you are out, you should notify law enforcement.

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