FOLSOM, Calif. -- What should you do if you ever find yourself caught in the middle of a mass shooting? ABC 10 spoke with a security expert, who shared some helpful tips that could save your life if the worst happens.
"They were surprised that it was the fastest, slowest thing they've ever gone through," said Hector Alvarez, who spoke about those who witnessed a mass shooting.
Alvarez is the owner of Alvarez Associates, Workplace Threat Management of Folsom. He says it can happen in a flash: A mass shooting.
Alvarez has 30 plus years in work place violence prevention and threat management. He is hired by companies around the country to share his expertise, as well as to determine if an individual within a company may be a threat to create violence. At the top of his list?
"The biggest thing people can do is just accept the remote possibility that this stuff can happen, and plant that seed and decide that no matter what they're going to make it home if it does occur," said Alvarez,
ABC10 met up with Alvarez around lunch time at the Downtown Commons (DOCO) in Sacramento.
It's home to shops, restaurants and the Golden 1 Center. So, what should you do if shots are fired here?
"If you look around [DOCO], there's a lot of different options. Just scan the options and quickly identify a place to hide, solid barriers to get behind, buildings to go inside of. And, then the reverse is true. If you are in a building are you prepared to break a window and to get out?" said Alvarez, walking through DOCO.
What if you were seated at a crowded restaurant and shots rang out?
"What we want to do is create as much barrier, time, distance and material between us and them. So, it's as simple as getting up and tilting this thing over," said Alvarez as he turned a table for eating on its side. "And, then we can literally duck down behind this thing. Now, obviously you would bring more and more tables. Is this my ideal situation? No."
Alvarez says one of the keys to survival is don't waste time. He says determine where the shots are fired from and run. Head in the opposite direction. But, what if you're handicapped or not able to move quickly as the shooter takes aim?
"They've got a lot of adrenaline going and very often they pick-up motion right in front. So, possibly just hiding, as uncomfortable as that may be, could provide the best course of action for you," Alvarez explained.
And what if you are inside a large arena like the Golden 1 Center? Head for the exits, but not always the one everyone else is heading towards.
"So, I'll tell you what I tell my family. I always go for an alternate exit. I very rarely go for the primary exit I came in because I know it's going to be crowded," said Alvarez.
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