Shooters at Malls, Theaters and Shipyards: How to Stay Safe


Recent news reports featured a hostage situation in a mall in Kenya when a group of shooters opened fire on those who were shopping. Another incident left 12 dead in a military shipyard on the East Coast. Others remember the shooting that occurred in a Colorado movie theater last year, and at a children’s school in early 2013. Organizations prepare themselves for disaster and emergency incidents like shootings and generally have a plan in place for evacuation. They have trained their personnel to keep their people safe, and know where the exits are located. But, what if you, as a shopper or consumer or movie lover, are caught in a situation that requires you to be quick on your feet, and forward-thinking in your actions? Here we will share some things you can do to protect yourself if you encounter a situation that involves gunfire.

In the case of the mall hostage situation, a woman was able to text her family: “Involved in active shooting situation; pray for me.” She was lucky enough that the text went through without causing too much of a commotion on her side. Alerting emergency personal discretely can be done, but only if it does not put your actions in the line of fire.

In a crisis, humans react in a fight or flight mode. Keeping calm and smart will serve you well if you encounter someone like a shooter. Here are some other ways to stay safe:

  • Create a distance and a barrier between you and the shooter by pushing over chairs, knocking down tables, and creating a path of considerable resistance.
  • Change your height as you are running or walking away. That is, move your body up and down while walking in a zigzag pattern. By doing this you create a “moving target” making it hard for someone to aim correctly or pinpoint a bullet location.
  • Jump over couches, chairs and other items, and protect yourself with furniture if available.
  • Find a post to hide behind, and move from one to another. While it may be tempting to “stay still” your doing so will only giving the shooter a better target.

If you have been injured in a shooting related incident or accident, you have a lawsuit on your hands that could take several months to resolve. The injuries come in the forms of physical and emotional trauma. A New York attorney who can assist you with your personal injury case can lead you in the direction of closure and compensation.

  • About the Author
  • Latest Posts

Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.