On March 20th, dozens of shoppers in Houston’s Galleria Mall ran to social media to post about an active shooter within the mall area. While police found no evidence of an active shooter within the mall, some people were upset over a reposted video of employees kicking shoppers out of a store on the second floor of the mall during the incident. One shopper asked employees why he and his family were being kicked out as they were exiting into a crowd of people trying to leave the mall quickly.
Rick Coker, Director of Operations and Protective Services at Top Gun Investigations, Body Guard, and Security Consulting, weighed in on the incident and discussed how dangerous it was that store employees didn’t follow procedures during the incident.
“If you are up above the shooter and you start running down the stairs and the shooter starts running up the stairs, you will run right into them,” said Coker. Throughout his career, Coker has trained many companies on how to respond in the case of an active shooter. “A really good protocol is if a store has the ability to lock it down and secure the people in that space in that given moment.” The object is to keep as many people safe as you can during a shooting.
Coker continues by saying if you are being forced out of a safe space during an active shooting that taking charge is your first option. “I’d be shouting orders that there's a shooter out there. Everybody gets to the very back of the building. Hide, Hide Hide,” said Coker.
In the case that you are unsure of what’s going on, you need to prepare for the worst-case scenario. “You gotta prepare to fight. So if the shooter comes into that location and finds that you are in the back of the building or storage facility, know what weapons you have available in that room,” said Coker. If you find yourself in an area where an active shooting is taking place or you believe that shooting is taking place, make sure that you have your escape plan in place so that you can get you or your loved ones to safety as soon as possible.
For more information on active shooter planning, contact Top Gun Investigations, Body Guard, and Security Consulting today.