Former Arizona cop: Victims in active shooter scenarios have options to survive

Feb 23, 2016, 4:41 PM
San Bernardino County Sheriff Department, Barstow Police Department and California Highway Patrol c...
San Bernardino County Sheriff Department, Barstow Police Department and California Highway Patrol conducted an active shooter drill at Silver Valley High School in Yermo, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. (David Pardo/The Victor Valley Daily Press via AP)
(David Pardo/The Victor Valley Daily Press via AP)

PHOENIX — When it comes to surviving an active shooter situation, a former Arizona deputy said victims have three options that can help them survive.

“Run, hide or fight,” former Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Gary McGuire said. “You need to make a decision fairly quickly what you are going to do and implement your plan.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said active shooter situations — such as the one in Phoenix that left a family dead on Tuesday — are on the rise. McGuire, who now teaches everyday people what to do when someone opens fire, said everyone needs to be prepared in case of a shooter.

“Be aware of your surroundings, look around, find your exits, just utilize some common sense,” he said.

McGuire said victims do not need to select one option and stick to it no matter what, because an active shooter situation is a dangerously fluid event.

“You can be hiding that turns into a fight and you can hide and that turns into you running if the situation allows it,” he said.

McGuire, who is former SWAT, said victims should worry about their safety first. Let the police or other law enforcement handle the shooter if possible.

“If you actively have someone in a home or in a business hurting or injuring or killing people, the first responders’ job is to find that person and stop the situation,” he said.

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Former Arizona cop: Victims in active shooter scenarios have options to survive