What to do if you are in an 'active shooter' situation

Published: Monday, June 05, 2017 @ 3:36 PM
Updated: Monday, June 05, 2017 @ 3:36 PM

What To Do If You’re In An 'Active Shooter' Situation
  

Sadly, we have had to come to terms with an increasing number of potential “active shooter” situations, We are left wondering what would we do if we found ourselves in those circumstances.

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Brian Marshall, a lieutenant with the Marietta, Ga., Police Department, spoke to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in December, a week after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, and offered this advice to anyone who would find themselves coming face-to-face with a person armed with a weapon.

According to Marshall, despite advance training and rapid response time it will take law enforcement at best, three minutes to respond to a report of an “active shooter.”  That means you will be without trained help and the actions you take in those minutes could mean life or death.

Marshall talked about a program aimed at helping those in the early minutes of an attack to active a plan that could save their lives.

The Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events course, which was “designed and built on the “Avoid, Deny, Defend” strategy, provides “a proven plan for survival,” Marshall said. 

Here is a quick look at what the course suggests a person should do if they become part of an “active shooter” situation.

1. “Avoid” starts with your state of mind. Pay attention to your surroundings, and have an exit plan. Move away from the source of the threat as quickly as possible.

2. “Deny” access while getting away may be difficult or even impossible. Keep distance between you and the source. Create barriers to prevent or slow down a threat. Turn lights off and remain out of sight and quiet by hiding behind large objects and silencing your phone.

3. “Defend,” because you have the right to protect yourself. If you cannot avoid or deny, be prepared to defend yourself. Be aggressive and committed to your actions. Rally people around you to attack as a group and use improvised weapons if needed. Do not fight fairly; this is about survival.

Marshall went on to say that you need to respond to arriving officers appropriately. Put down any weapons you may have and keep your hands visible unless otherwise ordered. Follow all commands, regardless of whether you think their commands are reasonable or not. 

For more information about the program, click here.

Other resources:

The Department of Homeland Security provides this information card you can carry on you and refer to.

Northwestern University offers these tips for students on campus: 

     
  • If an active shooter is outside your building or inside the building you are in, you should: Try to warn other faculty, staff, students and visitors to take immediate shelter.
  • Try to remain calm.
  • Proceed to a room that can be locked or barricaded.
  • Lock and barricade doors or windows.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Close blinds.
  • Turn off radios or other devices that emit sound.
  • Keep yourself out of sight, stay away from windows and take adequate cover/protection, i.e. concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets.
  • Silence cell phones.
  • Have one person call 911 and sayd, "This is --- University (give your location), we have an active shooter on campus, gunshots fired.
  • If you were able to see the offender(s), give a description of their sex, race, clothing, type of weapon(s), location last observed, direction of travel, and identity - if known.
  • If you observed any victims, give a description of the location and number of victims.
  • If you observed any suspicious devices (improvised explosive devices), provide the location observed and a description.
  • If you heard any explosions, provide a description and location.
  • Wait patiently until a uniformed police officer, or a university official known to you, provides an "all clear."
  • Unfamiliar voices may be an active shooter trying to lure you from safety; do not respond to voice commands until you can verify with certainty that they are being issued by a police officer or university official.
     
  • Rescuing people should only be attempted if it can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area.
     
  • Depending on circumstances, consideration may also be given to exiting ground floor windows as safely and quietly as possible.

If an active shooter enters your office or classroom, you should:

     
  • Try to remain calm.
     
  • Try not to do anything that will provoke the active shooter.
     
  • If there is no possibility of escape or hiding, only as a last resort when it is imminent that your life is in danger should you make a personal choice to attempt to negotiate with or overpower the assailant(s).
     
  • Call 911, if possible, and provide the information listed in the first guideline.
     
  • If the active shooter(s) leaves the area, barricade the room or proceed to a safer location.

If you are in an outside area and encounter an active shooter, you should:

     
  • Try to remain calm.
     
  • Move away from the active shooter or the sounds of gunshot(s) and/or explosion(s).
     
  • Look for appropriate locations for cover/protection, i.e. brick walls, retaining walls, large trees, parked vehicles, or any other object that may stop bullet penetration.
     
  • Try to warn other faculty, staff, students and visitors to take immediate shelter.
     
  • Call 911 and provide the information listed in the first guideline.

What to expect from responding police officers

The objectives of responding police officers are:

     
  • Immediately engage or contain the active shooter(s) in order to stop life threatening behavior.
     
  • Identify threats such as improvised explosive devices.
     
  • Identify victims to facilitate medical care, interviews and counseling.
Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard in order to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. The first responding officers may be in teams; they may be dressed in normal patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external ballistic vests and Kevlar helmets or other tactical gear. The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns or handguns. Do exactly as the officers instruct. The first responding officers will be focused on stopping the active shooter and creating a safe environment for medical assistance to be brought in to aid the injured.

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Alan Bean, NASA Apollo moonwalker, dies at 86

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 2:14 PM

Astronaut Alan Bean Dead at 86

NASA astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth person to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 86.

Bean’s family has released the following statement on NASA’s website:

Family Release Regarding the Passing of Apollo, Skylab Astronaut Alan Bean

The following is an obituary article released on the behalf of Alan Bean’s family:

Alan Bean, Apollo Moonwalker and Artist, Dies at 86

HOUSTON, Texas — Apollo and Skylab astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth human to walk on the moon and an accomplished artist, has died.

Bean, 86, died on Saturday, May 26, at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. His death followed his suddenly falling ill while on travel in Fort Wayne, Indiana two weeks before.

“Alan was the strongest and kindest man I ever knew. He was the love of my life and I miss him dearly,” said Leslie Bean, Alan Bean’s wife of 40 years. “A native Texan, Alan died peacefully in Houston surrounded by those who loved him.”

A test pilot in the U.S. Navy, Bean was one of 14 trainees selected by NASA for its third group of astronauts in October 1963. He flew twice into space, first as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, the second moon landing mission, in November 1969, and then as commander of the second crewed flight to the United States’ first space station, Skylab, in July 1973.

“Alan and I have been best friends for 55 years — ever since the day we became astronauts,” said Walt Cunningham, who flew on Apollo 7. “When I became head of the Skylab Branch of the Astronaut Office, we worked together and Alan eventually commanded the second Skylab mission.”

“We have never lived more than a couple of miles apart, even after we left NASA. And for years, Alan and I never missed a month where we did not have a cheeseburger together at Miller’s Cafe in Houston. We are accustomed to losing friends in our business but this is a tough one,” said Cunningham.

On Nov. 19, 1969, Bean, together with Apollo 12 commander Charles “Pete” Conrad, landed on the Ocean of Storms and became the fourth human to walk on the moon. During two moonwalks Bean helped deploy several surface experiments and installed the first nuclear-powered generator station on the moon to provide the power source. He and Conrad inspected a robotic Surveyor spacecraft and collected 75 pounds (34 kilograms) of rocks and lunar soil for study back on Earth.

“Alan and Pete were extremely engaged in the planning for their exploration of the Surveyor III landing site in the Ocean of Storms and, particularly, in the enhanced field training activity that came with the success of Apollo 11. This commitment paid off with Alan's and Pete's collection of a fantastic suite of lunar samples, a scientific gift that keeps on giving today and in the future,” said Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 lunar module pilot and the only geologist to walk on the moon. “Their description of bright green concentrations of olivine (peridot) as ‘ginger ale bottle glass,’ however, gave geologists in Mission Control all a big laugh, as we knew exactly what they had discovered.”

“When Alan's third career as the artist of Apollo moved forward, he would call me to ask about some detail about lunar soil, color or equipment he wanted to have represented exactly in a painting. Other times, he wanted to discuss items in the description he was writing to go with a painting. His enthusiasm about space and art never waned. Alan Bean is one of the great renaissance men of his generation — engineer, fighter pilot, astronaut and artist,” said Schmitt.

Four years after Apollo 12, Bean commanded the second crew to live and work on board the Skylab orbital workshop. During the then-record-setting 59-day, 24.4 million-mile flight, Bean and his two crewmates generated 18 miles of computer tape during surveys of Earth’s resources and 76,000 photographs of the Sun to help scientists better understand its effects on the solar system.

In total, Bean logged 69 days, 15 hours and 45 minutes in space, including 31 hours and 31 minutes on the moon’s surface.

Bean retired from the Navy in 1975 and NASA in 1981. In the four decades since, he devoted his time to creating an artistic record of humanity’s first exploration of another world. His Apollo-themed paintings featured canvases textured with lunar boot prints and were made using acrylics embedded with small pieces of his moon dust-stained mission patches.

“Alan Bean was the most extraordinary person I ever met,” said astronaut Mike Massimino, who flew on two space shuttle missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope. “He was a one of a kind combination of technical achievement as an astronaut and artistic achievement as a painter.”

“But what was truly extraordinary was his deep caring for others and his willingness to inspire and teach by sharing his personal journey so openly. Anyone who had the opportunity to know Alan was a better person for it, and we were better astronauts by following his example. I am so grateful he was my mentor and friend, and I will miss him terribly. He was a great man and this is a great loss,” Massimino said.

Born March 15, 1932, in Wheeler, Texas, Bean received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955. He attended the Navy Test Pilot School and accumulated more than 5,500 hours of flying time in 27 different types of aircraft.

He is survived by his wife Leslie, a sister Paula Stott, and two children from a prior marriage, a daughter Amy Sue and son Clay.

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Utah man jailed in Venezuela to be freed Saturday

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 10:08 AM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 2:01 PM

In this July 13, 2016 file photo, Laurie Holt holds a photograph of her son Josh Holt at her home, in Riverton, Utah.  Josh Holt  has been released from a jail in Venezuela after spending nearly two years behind bars on weapons charges.  
Rick Bowmer, AP
In this July 13, 2016 file photo, Laurie Holt holds a photograph of her son Josh Holt at her home, in Riverton, Utah. Josh Holt has been released from a jail in Venezuela after spending nearly two years behind bars on weapons charges.  (Rick Bowmer, AP)

Update 2:01 p.m. EST: CNN reports that President Donald Trump will make a live address to the nation at 7 p.m. EST after he meets with Joshua Holt at the White House. 

Update 10:43 a.m. EST: Joshua Holt’s family has released a statement following the President’s announcement regarding his release from Caracas, Venezuela, calling it a “miracle.”

The Holt family stated:

“We thank you for your collaboration during this time of anguish,” the Associated Press reports. “We ask that you allow us to meet with our son and his wife before giving any interviews or statements. We are grateful to all who participated in this miracle.”

President Trump tweeted he is looking forward to meeting the family at the White House on Saturday night.

 

Original story: Joshua Holt, an American from Utah jailed in Venezuela for over two years without trial, is expected to be released and return to the United States Saturday night. 

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President Donald Trump tweeted that Holt was a “hostage” in the socialist country.

Holt is expected to arrive in Washington D.C., around 7 p.m. on Saturday night and will be reunited with his family at the White House.

 

Holt is a Mormon missionary from Utah who was jailed in 2016 after traveling to Venezuela to marry a woman he met online, according to The New York Times

He was accused of stockpiling weapons and arrested.

Holt has been held in a Caracas jail since 2016. 

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) posted a statement on Twitter, saying Holt’s release is the result of a two-year effort working with the Trump and Obama administrations and Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela. 

Hatch says Holt's wife, Thamy Holt, had also been released but it is unclear if she will travel with her husband back to the United States.

 
This is a developing story, check back for updates. 

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Gas will cost drivers $1 billion more this Memorial Day weekend

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 4:57 PM

Gas Will Cost Drivers $1 Billion More Than Last Year This Memorial Day Weekend

Traveling for Memorial Day weekend will cost you more at the pump this year.

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A gallon of regular gas is expected to cost $2.96 on average this holiday weekend, an almost 50 cent jump from Memorial Day weekend in 2017, according to AAA

Drivers will end up paying over $1 billion more for gas this weekend nationwide, GasBuddy.com reports.

This is due to huge global demand and a shrinking international supply, according to NBC.

“Pending U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, as well as OPEC cuts and record U.S. oil production, are influencing higher crude oil prices in the market,” AAA spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano told NBC News.

In some places, gas prices have spiked in recent weeks.

In New York City, a Mobil station reportedly sold gas at $4.99 per gallon.

 
To trim gas costs, experts say to drive about 5 miles under the speed limit. Drivers can also try to save on gas by avoiding starting and stopping abruptly in traffic, instead easing off the gas, NBC reports. Also, a clean air filter and good tire air pressure can help keep gas costs low.

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Noblesville, Indiana middle school shooting: 2 injured, student in custody

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 7:47 PM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 1:02 PM

Shooting at Indiana Middle School

Police took a middle school student into custody Friday morning on suspicion of firing shots at Indiana’s Noblesville West Middle School, leaving at least two people injured.

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Update May 26, 1:04 p.m. EDT: The student who was shot on Friday has been identified as 13-year-old Ella Whistler, according to WTTV.

Her family released her photo and a statement, that she is “doing well” and remains in stable but critical condition.

In a statement to RTV6, the family thanked law enforcement but asked for privacy at this time.

“We’d like to thank everyone across the country who has prayed for our family today,” the statement read. “We’ve felt those prayers and appreciate all of them.”

Update 7:44 p.m. EDT: Jason Seaman, the teacher injured in the shooting, released a statement Friday evening:

“First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care. I want to let everyone know that I was injured (but) am doing great. To all the students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.”

Update 2:50 p.m. EDT: The Indianapolis Star identified the teacher injured in Friday’s shooting at Noblesville West Middle School as Jason Seaman. The newspaper reported he was shot three times while knocking the gun out of the hands of a middle school student who fired shots at the school.

Jason Seaman’s brother, Jeremy Seaman, told the newspaper that he was not surprised by reports of his brother’s actions. Students have told several news stations that his quick thinking saved an untold number of lives.

“He’s not really ever been the person to run away,” Jeremy Seaman told the Star. “When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.”

Jeremy Seaman told the Star that his brother was undergoing surgery Friday.

Update 2:39 p.m. EDT: Noblesville police Chief Kevin Jowitt said at a news conference Friday afternoon that the student who opened fire at Noblesville West Middle School earlier in the day asked to be excused from class before returning with a pair of handguns. 

Jowitt said the student was quickly taken into custody.

Update 2 p.m. EDT: A Noblesville West Middle School student told WXIN that a science teacher sprang into action Friday after a student opened fire at the school, knocking the gun from the shooter’s hand and likely saving lives.

The seventh-grade girl, who was not identified, told the news station that “this science teacher bravely swatted that gun away from the gunman’s hands, saving everyone else in that room.”

Another seventh-grader, Ethan Stonebraker, told The Associated Press that the shooter walked into his science class while students were taking a test.

"Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground," Stonebraker said. "If it weren't for him, more of us would have been injured for sure."

It was not immediately clear if the teacher was the same one injured in Friday morning’s shooting. 

Police said a juvenile and an adult teacher were injured when an unidentified male student opened fire at the school around 9 a.m. Another student also suffered an ankle fracture, according to officials with Riverview Health.

Update 11:43 a.m. EDT: Vice President Mike Pence thanked law enforcement officers and shared condolences after a shooting at a middle school in his home state, Indiana.

“Karen and I are praying for the victims of the terrible shooting in Indiana,” Pence wrote on Twitter Friday, referring to his wife, Karen Pence. “To everyone in the Noblesville community -- you are in our hearts and in our prayers.”

 

Update 11:28 a.m. EDT: Noblesville police Chief Kevin Jowitt confirmed that a teacher and a juvenile were injured Friday morning in a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School.

Police did not identify either of the victims. They were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital, respectively, Jowitt said.

Officials with Riverview Health said earlier Friday that a second student was treated for an ankle fracture after the shooting.

Authorities had a suspect, identified as a male student, in custody Friday morning.

Jowitt said Noblesville West Middle School had been cleared by 11:30 a.m. However, he added that authorities also received reports of a threat made at Noblesville High School.

Police are investigating the report.

 

Update 11:18 a.m. EDT: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he and other officials are monitoring the situation in Noblesville after at least two people were injured in a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School on Friday.

 

Authorities are expected to provide additional details about Friday’s shooting in a news conference later in the day.

Update 10:55 a.m. EDT: Chad Lancaster, whose eighth-grade daughter and sixth-grade son attend Noblesville West Middle School, told the Indianapolis Star that his daughter called her mother, his ex-wife, while hiding under a desk amid reports of an active shooter on campus.

He told the newspaper he has been unable to get in touch with his son.

“This is surreal," Lancaster told the Star. "This happens in high school, not here."

Officials with Riverview Health said one of the two people injured in Friday morning's shooting was taken to the hospital and transfered to Riley Hospital in stable condition. A second person, a student, was being treated for an ankle fracture.

 

Officials told the Star earlier Friday that an adult was also injured in the shooting.

A suspect, who has not been identified, was in custody after the shooting.

Update 10:40 a.m. EDT: Indiana University Health officials told the Indianapolis Star that an adult and a teenager were injured in Friday’s shooting at Noblesville West Middle School.

The two have not been identified. Indiana State Police said earlier Friday that they were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital for treatment of their injuries and that their families had been notified.

Update 10:20 a.m. EDT: Indiana State Police confirmed two people were taken to a hospital after authorities responded Friday morning to reports of an active shooter at Noblesville West Middle School.

 

Officials said a suspect was in custody after the shooting. Authorities were expected to provide additional details at a news conference later Friday.

Original report: Authorities confirmed around 9:40 a.m. that police had a suspect in custody after responding to a report of an active shooter situation at the middle school.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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