‘Horrible attack;’ Former Special Agent provides insight on active shooter situations

BEAVERCREEK — In the aftermath of the mass shooting that took place in the Beavercreek Walmart last night, people are looking for more insight into this event, and others like it.

News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson spoke with Mark Pohl, who is a former Special Agent for the Department of Defense and was assigned to the FBI. With more than 25 years in federal law enforcement, Pohl told Robertson that shooters look for soft targets, which means places where there isn’t security checking what people are bringing inside with them, like a fast food restaurant or a Walmart.

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“Everybody in today’s environment knows how quickly people can die and be hurt by active shooters. Soft targets are the easiest one for those who may have a grievance or a mental health problem who want to take, amount this kind of horrible attack,” Pohl said.

In these types of situations, Pohl said that people can decide to either Run, Hide or Fight.

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“Now those options aren’t really a linear selection. So you’re not going to say I’m going to run first, I’m going to hide next and I’m going to fight next,” Pohl said.

This Run, Hide, Fight mentality is situational, which is why Pohl says people should practice paying attention to what’s happening around them.

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“Really, the only way you can get yourself used to responding in an effective way is to think through ahead of time, what would my mental framework be?” Pohl said.

Robertson asked people at a Walmart in Butler Township how they thought they would respond in these scenarios.

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“I don’t think I would panic. I’m not that type of person,” Carolyn Naas said.

Allen Gregory told Robertson there are multiple scenarios that would go through his mind and he’s not sure what he would do.

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“It depends, it also depends if I have my children with me, I’m going to act different when I have my children with me compared to being by myself,” Gregory said.

Pohl said the main thing to note when in that situation is how close you are to the shooter and if you have the option to safely get away, or fight.

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“We’re not all equipped emotionally or physically to take physical confrontation against somebody who’s mounting an attack, but other people may have that capability,” Pohl said.

At this point, training your mind on how you should respond in these types of scenarios is necessary, according to Pohl. He said it is as simple as telling yourself over and over what your options are in those scenarios, Run Hide or Fight, and be prepared for all of them.

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