As active shootings become more prevalent in the United States, the FBI has tips for the public to avoid injury amid these events.
The FBI produced a series of videos in 2020, including a short film with the title “Run. Hide. Fight.” The videos are intended to help citizens in the event of an active shooter.
“When attending a mass gathering, scan for escape routes and other places that might provide protection,” the FBI advises. “Pre-planning will shorten your reaction time and help overcome the tendency to freeze.”
The FBI says the first thing you want to do is run.
“It makes you a harder target and puts distance between you and the attacker,” the FBI said.
If running is too risky, the FBI advises hiding.
“Lock or barricade yourself in,” the FBI said. “Turn off the lights and silence phones, then plan an attack strategy in case the shooter enters.”
If running or hiding doesn’t work, the FBI said the last resort is to fight.
“Find something to use as a weapon and don't fight fair,” the agency said.
While the FBI said that most active shootings end within five minutes, witnesses said Tuesday’s mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school lasted over 40 minutes.
The FBI said it designated 61 incidents as active shootings in 2021. An active shooter is defined as one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.
The FBI has reported an uptick in active shooting events, as there were 40 reported in 2020, 30 in 2018 and 2019 and 31 in 2017.
Of the 61 incidents in 2021, 12 were deemed mass shootings, where at least four or more people were murdered by an active shooter.