Fight back in an active shooter situation, experts say

(Sheridan, Wyo.) — They used to teach you not to fight back. Today, your best chance to survive an active shooter scenario is to run, to hide and to fight. Health officials, law enforcement and business people gathered at Sheridan College Thursday for two separate three-hour seminars on Workplace Safety/Violence Training from the Wyoming Highway Patrol and the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security. After an overview of horrific and heartbreaking active shooter events that have made headlines across the nation, WHP Troopers Doug Beran and Bill Kirkman told the crowd that most active shooter events begin and end within minutes. Law enforcement usually arrives on scene within five minutes of open fire, but that time in between is precious. "If you can be a difficult target, if you are hiding, fighting back, that is not what they are looking for," Beran said. "They know their time is limited. They are cowards, and they know we are coming." It is recommended that people use what they can to shield themselves from gunfire. Sheridan County School District #2 has told Dally its drill procedures , and other schools around the state use response trainings like ALICE : Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. In addition to the "counter" advice, people should find any object that can stop a bullet or projectile, experts say. In a particularly moving moment Thursday, the officers recalled how an eight-year-old boy at Sandy Hook stood in front of his teacher, saying he knew karate. "If he can do it, we can do it too," Beran said. "That is what we need, a survivor mentality." Sadly, active shooter events happen everywhere, he said. "We are not talking about big cities," he said. "This is happening everywhere. Small towns, all over the place." But, he said, we know that at least 21 incidents, and perhaps more, have been prevented because someone stopped the active shooter. The training will continue with another session this morning from 8-11:45 a.m. at the College. For more information about the trainings, which will be happening all over Wyoming, call the Wyoming Highway Patrol at (307) 777-4320 or Doug Gumm at (307) 256-1431 or email #dally #news