What to do in an active shooter situation

A Michigan police department offers three suggestions to protect yourself

FILE - In this Sunday, June 12, 2016 file photo, Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WOOD) — What should you do if you find yourself in an active shooter situation? The Grand Rapids Police Department says there are three simple steps to take.

In the moment, chaos can make it difficult to think, so GRPD says you should be prepared before something happens.

“It’s sad, but unfortunately you have to be aware of where we are, what our situation is and our surroundings,” GRPD Sgt. Terry Dixon said.


“There is usually more than one exit to a building,” Dixon explained, “so other than the place that you just came in, start to scope the remainder of the facility to see if you had to leave in a hurry where would you go.”

About 300 people packed the club in Orlando where a shooter opened fire early Sunday, killing 50 and wounding 53 more. The number of people may have made it difficult to escape.

“An exit is so wide and there are only a few of them, so you try to get a number of people out at the same time it’s going to be difficult,” Sgt. Dixon said. “But at the same time, if you are aware of your avenues of escape, you are much more prepared.”


If the exits are blocked or you can’t find any escape, Dixon said you should find something that will protect you from gunfire.

“Block where the projectiles are coming from,” he said.


If you can’t escape or hide, you may decide the best option is to fight.

“There could be a circumstance where that may be warranted if you can,” Dixon said. “Those are life and death situations and unfortunately they had to face those situations in Orlando.”

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