KILLEEN, Texas — Tuesday night’s shooting at the Killeen Mall has left many wondering what the right thing to do is during an active shooter situation.
Guy Beveridge is the Coryell County Constable and CEO of Guy Beveridge and Associates. He says in order to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. It all starts before any shooting begins.
“Take a pause, a tactical pause I like to say, and listen to the sights. The sounds. And even take into account the smells that are going on around you, and that would be what is considered normal then,” said Beveridge.
This means first establishing what a normal environment is.
“When any of those baselines that you’ve established are interrupted during your shopping, your body is going to recognize those a lot easier. Loud bangs, people yelling, people screaming, smells like maybe gun powder or smoke that should trigger the body to get into motion,” said Beveridge.
Beveridge helps corporations, schools, hospitals and churches with crisis mitigation. He teaches the “Out” model.
“Figure out where you are in relationship to the action and then pick your out model, whether it’s Get Out, get out of the area, whether it’s a Take Out, maybe you have to take out that aggressor that bad guy. Or it’s a Lock Out, get yourself locked in to a secure area, and then maybe from there still work on a get out option from there,” said Beveridge.
This model is different from what we are often taught in school – Run, Hide and Fight.
“They’re not a stair step. Do one then, do the other then, do the next. It’s just in relationship to where you are to the killer, or the event, and you pick the out model that is best for you,” said Beveridge.
Beveridge says in a place like a mall, he first recommends to get out – but says folks should be prepared to take out.
“You may have to prepare yourself to take out that individual if you are close enough, and it looks like they are coming. That person is coming towards you. You’ve got to have that mindset that ‘I’m going to get engaged in this and I’m going to preserve my own life,'” said Beveridge.
It all depends on where you are in relation to the shooter.
“For people that are in those types of environments, if they would raise their situational awareness first, establish that good baseline like I talked about, and then know what they are going to do in those situations. So we call it ‘scripting in our head.’ If this happens, then I’m going to do that. And we play these little games in our mind, so when I go to a mall like that, I do take that baseline raise, my situational awareness, and I tell myself and I tell my family, ‘If this happens, we hear gunfire, then we are going to do this, and we already have that plan ahead,'” said Beveridge. “Listen, the body can’t go where the brain has never been.”