GREENWOOD, Ind. — Retired FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan tells us the time to prepare your response for a mass shooter is not in the midst of gunfire.
“You should really start thinking about places I could go if it happens,” Keenan explained. “Cover, concealment, where can I hide? Where is a place that may afford me some protection from oncoming rounds if it comes to that?”
Keenan says people have to mentally prepare for an active shooter situation. This includes knowing your exits, and if you run into a room, lock and barricade the door.
If the shooter enters, fight.
“Whatever is in that room, use it as a weapon,” Keenan explained. “Or, if you have no weapons, you’re going to have to try and take down this guy by yourself.”
If you have to fight, Keenan advises people target the soft areas of the body.
“You would go after the eyes, you would go after the throat, you’d go after the groin,” Keenan said. “Those are the places that are going to stun somebody and give you a little extra time, maybe blind them, have difficulty breathing.”
Keenan said we really need to stay on alert any time we are in a public space with many people.
“You just have to think about these things as you’re walking down the mall,” Keenan said. “You don’t have to be on red alert all the time but try to have a little bit of a yellow alert, a little bit heightened awareness of your surroundings.”
The former FBI agent said it’s important to share your knowledge with your children. Keenan said he sometimes quizzes his own children on exit locations.
“You don’t have to tell them it’s about an active shooter,” Keenan said. “You can say, well if there’s a fire, where are we going to go? But I do think it’s important to at least give them the awareness that you have as well.”