Experts describe how to respond to an active shooter

Experts describe how to respond to an active shooter

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - After mass shootings at Sandy Hook, Columbine and Virginia Tech, citizens have grown concerned about how to respond to an active shooter situation.

"Run as far as you can," says Cpl. Chris Boyette, who is a police active shooter instructor. "Get them out of the area as fast as possible. Get them out of the way as fast as possible."

Boyette says it's harder to shoot a moving target. Often times, folks will try to hide in the immediate area, but that's when you become the shooter's easiest target. He says fight and defend for yourself, but he warns folks who carry concealed weapons, you could be mistaken for the shooter by police entering the building.

"Well, when the police officers come in to engage the threat, they are looking for a guy with the gun," said Boyette.

This can cause confusion in the middle of chaos. It could also put other lives in danger if two people are shooting. But he says, nevertheless, do what you have to do in a life or death situation.

"As long as you are in your legal right, defend yourself, but we don't necessarily want people to try to hunt the guy down," added Boyette.

Also, be proactive in public spaces. Whether it's a mall, a movie theater or the grocery store, always know where your exits are.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved