You’re siting in your office or in your classroom and all of a sudden you hear gunshots. What’s the first thing you do? Do you have a plan for a situation like that?
Patrick J. Hoy, a retired U.S. Air Force A-10 Attack Pilot, holds seminars that teach how to plan for and even ways to prevent an active shooter. During his time in the Air Force, Hoy studied adversary pilots to learn how to defeat them and also developed tactics to defeat them.
Last week, he held a seminar at Sidney High School for area teachers. In his seminars, Hoy discusses different scenarios and refers to previous shootings to explain patterns and trends of shooters.
During his presentation at Sidney High School, Hoy shared data that showed that 98 percent of the time, the shooter is a male. In school shootings, it’s typically a male between 16-17 years old, while in the workplace, it’s typically a male between 35-45 years old.
He added that there is a trend that these males are typically very angry or full of rage. “They could be seeking revenge,” Hoy said. Some of the other characteristics included expressing anger or frustration toward his boss, teachers, friends, and society, moody and frequently talking about his problems, may frequently play violent video games, may abuse or needlessly kill animals for pleasure and a fascination with guns and killing.
Hoy explained the importance of having a plan in place in the event of a shooter entering your school, office, church, or building. He uses the phrase Run, Hide, Fight to explain what prodedures you should follow.
If possible, Hoy suggests that you run if you find yourself in the situation that there is an active shooter. “If you can run out of the building without encountering the shooter, run,” Hoy said. He added that if possible take people with you on your way out of the building.
“Don’t call 911 until you’re safe,” Hoy emphasized. He stressed the importance of getting as far away from the building as you can before you try to call authorities.
The next best thing to do in the event of there being an active shooter is to hide. Hoy refers to a few ways to hide as a hard hide, in which you can lock yourself in a room, block the door and turn off the lights. This is the optimal idea if you can’t get out of the building.
Hoy explained a soft hide, in which you can get in a room but the door doesn’t lock. In that case, the best thing you can do is block the door and turn out the lights. If it appears that no one is in a room, the shooter will most likely walk past it without going inside.
Fight, the third step, would be to try to fight the shooter. Hoy suggests throwing things at him to distract him or if possible, when he enters the room to have as many people as you can jump him and attack from all sides. While there are many different things you can do in the case of an active shooter, these are the best things you can do, according to Hoy. “Do not freeze,” Hoy said. While it would be easy to panic, Hoy emphasized how important it is to stay calm and focused.