Planning ahead could save your life if you face active shooter situation

SUGAR LAND, TX (KTRK) -- Police say a little bit of planning now can save your life in an active shooter scenario.

The Sugar Land Police Department is, like many law enforcement entities today, making efforts to educate us all on ways in which we can better ensure we survive a horrific attack.

Their program entitled C.R.A.S.E. stands for "Civilian Response Active Shooter Event" and is offered free of charge to any Sugar Land residents or businesses.

They teach a three pronged approach: Avoid, Deny and Defend. It's a concept demonstrated in a fictional video produced by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, or ALERRT, program at Texas State University.

We asked them to show us how to pro-actively implement that approach.

"The first thing we want to do is avoid. If we can't avoid, if the area is blocked, we want to move to a different area," said Sugar Land Police Sgt. Rudy Ramirez.

If you can't find an exit, Ramirez says to then find a room where you can deny a shooter access. "Right here we have a chair, like you often find these in office buildings. Get it in there as quickly as possible. Put as much as possible between you and the bad guy as you can," said Ramirez.

You might need to get creative. Even the belt you are wearing can help keep a shooter out.

"Loop it around the door. Get it on tight. Get out of the way in case he decides to shoot through the door, and you're just gonna hold it," said Officer Joe Carter.

If there's a window, police say, use it. Break it if you have to and remember the center of it is not its weakest point. "We want to aim for one of the corners of the window rather than the center of the window," said Ramirez.

If you don't have a window, consider the walls. You can kick through drywall and crawl through the hole where safety exists, potentially, on the other side.

As a last resort officers say, defend. Use whatever you have nearby as a weapon. "We have seats. We have a fire extinguisher, even after it doesn't have anything in it. It still makes an excellent club," said Sgt. Ed Aldredge.

Most importantly, police say to remember that you are only giving up if you stop fighting.
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