City of Houston releases video showing what to do if you're faced with shooter

Would you know what to do if you find yourself face to face with a gunman? Above is an image of an actor from the video the city produced.
July 26, 2012 3:54:07 PM PDT
In the wake of last week's tragic shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the city of Houston has released a video showing what to do if you're ever faced with what the people in that theater went through.

Workers at Houston's Public Safety Office say they were already working on this DVD before the theater shooting. They say the main things to remember during an active shooting are to run, hide, fight.

Aurora shooting survivor Jennifer Seeger recalled, "You know we were just 20 minutes into the movie, and I was just thinking I was going to a movie. You know, I wasn't thinking anything of it."

I sat down with Seeger and her friends in Ayrora, Colorado this week as they replayed those horrific moments they say they almost lost their lives during the movie theater massacre.

She said, "They were like, 'There's a gun, there's a gun! Run! Run, run, run!'"

Seeger says she was in the second row in the midnight screening of Batman when the accused gunman, James Holmes, allegedly pointed a gun at her face during that shooting spree.

"At that moment, I just didn't know what to think, you know what I mean, I was scared," Seeger said. "I knew that if I didn't move, I was going to die."

The incident now has leaders in Houston promoting a new video about safety during an active shooting.

Dennis Storemski with the Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security explained, "It just so happened that the timing of us finishing the DVD coincided with this event."

Storemski says this video the department produced explains the three things people should do to increase chances of safety and survival.

"Run. Hide. Fight. That's sort of the shorthand that we use," he said.

The video shows that running toward a safe path is key if one is available, and how hiding out of the shooters view's another option. Seeger says hiding possibly saved her life.

"Jumped forward and ducked to the ground in the aisle and tucked myself and my best friend into the ground and said, 'Just stay still don't move until he walks up the stairs and when he walks up the stairs we'll crawl,'" she said.

The video shows when all else fails, you fight, trying your best to disable the attacker.

The city says the video encourages people to do the following if faced with an active situation:

  • Run if a safe path is available. Always try and escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying.
  • Encourage others to leave with you but don't let the indecision of others slow down your own effort to escape.
  • Once you are out of the line of fire, try to prevent others from walking into the danger zone and call 9-1-1.
  • If you can't get out safely, find a place to hide.
  • When hiding, turn out lights, remember to lock doors and silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone
  • As a last resort, working together or alone, act with aggression, use improvised weapons and fight.

The safety video is about five minutes long. The city has produced it in English and Spanish.

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