Five of the most important steps you can take to save your life. Essential tips from our Personal Protection Specialists.

1. Run Away

The moment you hear what sounds like firecrackers or more specifically gunshots your first reaction is to walk or run in the opposite direction. Don’t try to figure out where the sounds are coming from. Immediately remove yourself from the area. We all can learn a lesson from the passengers at LAX who were running with their luggage in tow. Fortunately, (as pathetic as that sounds) the shooter had a specific target in mind and that was TSA employees. What if the shooter began shooting at everyone in sight, all those passenger dragging their suitcases had encumbered themselves to the point that in all likelihood they would have also become victims. It was astonishing seeing all those passengers dragging their luggage behind them as though their luggage was more important than their lives.  To escape a situation like that at LAX you need to rid yourself of anything that impedes your ability to flee.

2. Find a Closet or Restroom

Try to head toward a door leading to a closet or restroom. If you go into a restroom try to enter and lock a bathroom stall. If there  are no closet or bathroom doors in the vicinity search for and leave through any exit that will remove you from the fire zone.

3.  Take Cover

Try to take cover behind a restaurant or coffee bar counter or a kiosk. If you see a an area behind a ticket counter get behind it and lie as low as possible  Do all you can to stay perfectly still and control your breathing so it is not too loud.

4.  Don’t Reason With Them—Physically Defend Yourself In The Right Way

Do not attempt to reason with a shooter as they are clearly mentally deranged and you will simply appear to them as just another trophy to shoot. However, if you are face to face with the shooter try not to scream, search for any object you can lift and throw at them, such as your luggage if you happen to be caught with it still in your hand. If you are within arm’s reach of the shooter, you may be able to disarm the shooter. If the shooter is using a rifle, grab the barrel and turn it away from you while striking the assailant with your other hand or kicking them with your feet. As the assailant instinctively pulls the weapon away from you, follow their movement to put them off balance and attempt to grab the butt end of the rifle while moving towards them. With both ends secured in your hands, you can use the weapon as leverage as you knee or kick the assailant in the body. If the weapon is a handgun try to quickly grab it from the top and hold it as tight as you can to prevent the firing action from completing.  While performing this action try to wrench the weapon from the shooter’s hand. Taking them by surprise is your only chance to survive. In reality the chances of you surviving a face to face confrontation is clearly not in your favor and if you are going to be shot you need to have the courage to do whatever it takes to defend yourself and to try and save your life.

5. Avoid Being Seen By The Shooter

Do whatever you can to avoid being seen by the shooter as you do not want to draw attention to yourself. Should you find yourself running away from the sound of shots being fired stay as close the inner walls as possible because you don’t want to be running in the center of a pathway where the shooter has a center mass view to shoot at. If you need to move toward the center in order to reach an exit run in a zig-zag motion which will make it difficult for the shooter to hit you. Failing the above options try to lie in a facedown position which will protect your internal organs. Your facedown prone position may trick the shooter into thinking you are already dead. The flat profile also presents a smaller target profile for the shooter and may even cause the shooter to overlook you entirely.