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SWAT Expert: What to do if you're in a bar with an active shooter

Posted at 4:58 PM, Nov 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-08 19:34:55-05

DENVER -- What should you do if an active shooter walks into the room?

Former Jefferson County SWAT member Joe Deedon now trains law enforcement and workers how to make a game plan so the are mentally ready if such a situation happens.

"My biggest thing is to hopefully have identified an exit I can get to," said Deedon, who demonstrated some of the best ways to make it out alive. "The wrong thing to do would just be to freeze and wait for someone else to help you out."

Three words to remember: Run. Hide. Fight. And Deedon said those options may have saved some lives in the California bar shooting Wednesday night.

"And so it was huge panic – everyone tried getting up, and then I got trampled a couple times. Some guy came behind me, lifted me up and said, 'Let's go,'" said Teylor Whittler, a survivor who credited other people for helping her make it out.

Some survivors also thought outside the box, doing anything to get out and help others do the same – even using barstools to break out windows.

Deedon said evacuating is important, but it's also important to not "run out of your shoes" into danger.

"I do what I call a turtle peek," demonstrated Deedon, peeking around a corner. "See, now I'm starting to look -- see, I'm starting to see magazines on the floor. Do I want to go that way? No. That's danger."

If you must fight, you could look for weapons, like a fire extinguisher. Most importantly, Deedon said, think about what you would do before it actually happens.

"It's not quick enough to tell people [to] just stop, freeze, we'll be there to save the day," said Deedon. "It's save yourself for the first 30 seconds to a minute and give us some time to get there."