Run, Hide, Fight takes on new meaning in open-room active shootings

Run, Hide, Fight takes on new meaning in open-room active shootings

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - As mass shootings continue to shake our country, the words run, hide, and fight are continuing to take on new meanings for many.

However, attacks have recently happened in one room or open venues like theaters and clubs, which could change how you react should shots ring out.

Often one room locations have limited exits, which could become areas of high traffic and target. Still, local experts say you need to try and get out, and you should start by "going off the radar." Experts say make yourself a hard target.

As you make your way to an exit, try to find things to hide behind and keep moving. Experts say gunmen are often looking for easy targets like people lying on the ground in fear or people who are fully exposed, out in the open.

While a piece of furniture may not stop a bullet, experts say ballistically, it could divert its path slightly, slow it down, or take some of the impact. You may still get hit, but furniture may help you survive the wound.

"Shooters looking for the one's laying on the ground, the one's that are curled up in a fetal position, he's not looking to kick in doors and fight barricades so the more you put in front of that door, and limit his entrance, he's going to look for other avenues and other ways to go," said Lt.Brad Hicks with the Special Operations Department at the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office.

Experts also add that barricades can do more than one may think. If you're trapped in a bathroom for example, Hicks recommends using a belt to wrap around the door hinge and grabbing any detachable object to use as a weapon.

Lt. Hicks says most gunman aren't looking to knock down barricades, rather hit available targets.

"The Columbus Police Department, Muscogee County Sheriff's Office, all the surrounding agencies have hostage negotiators and we are coming to get you. But don't do anything to agitate, don't do anything to get the hostage taker all worked up," Lt. Hicks said. 

Experts say if you are a hostage and see the gunman change their attitude, get angrier, or start attacking again, don't just lay there. Fight.

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