INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — So, what do you do if you find yourself in that situation?
If you find yourself in an open field or city street and someone starts shooting, how do you stay alive?
Officers in central Indiana are teaching concrete, tangible advice that could save your life.
In the middle of a shooting, you may want to freeze, unsure of what to do. Law enforcement said doing something is key.
Look for exits, have an escape plan. Do something — because it could save your life.
In Las Vegas, people dealt with bullets flying from the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel.
You could see panic, confusion and people quickly reacting.
Jeff Patterson, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department community resource officer, said, “Make a decision quickly. Go. If that decision was wrong while you’re making it, switch and do something else. At least you’re not just sitting there.”
Patterson is an expert in active shooter situations. He said people should look for exits and decide if you’re going to stay and fight, run away or hide.
“If I can run and get behind this concrete thing, where bullets maybe can’t go through it, that’s where I want to hide,” he said while demonstrating to 24-Hour News 8. “Now I’m behind something that’s going to stop bullets.”
If you can run, Patterson said go toward lights and people, and call 911.
“Zigzagging helps,” He said. “It’s been my studies that if people shoot at you while you’re running, they won’t hit you. If they hit you, it probably won’t kill you. If you’re zigzagging, it helps. Most people are just going to worry about running.”
Indiana State Police regularly talk to and teach people how to respond to a mass violence event. Trooper John Perrine said to have an escape plan.
Perrine said that people at the concert in Las Vegas “didn’t make the wrong decision. They made a decision based on what they had available to them. That’s what it’s gonna be. You’re gonna have to look what’s going on and make a decision.”
Patterson teaches people how to react, too. 24-Hour News 8 caught up with him Monday at an previously scheduled violence awareness class at The Indianapolis Star. It was where Kelly Musick said she learned something valuable.
“Keeping aware of your surroundings,” Musick said. “If you … just trust your gut.”
It’s advice she said might save her life.
The Indiana State Police also have active shooter preparedness tips on their website. You can also call IMPD’s Patterson for information about free classes at 317-327-6519 or email him at email@example.com