Participants in a workshop on what to do in an “active shooter” situation follow St. Petersburg Police Officer Chip Wells’ instructions to hold up their hands with fingers spread on Thursday November 17.
“Today it’s so important [to know what to do] because it’s becoming more and more prevalent and it’s happening anywhere,” Wells told the group meeting at the Maximo Resource Center at 4815 34th St. S.
Among the tips he gave attendees: Get away as fast as you can; help anyone who is willing to leave, but if they’re frozen, move on. If you can’t leave, barricade yourself in a room and arm yourself with anything available; a fire extinguisher is great weapon. Turn out the lights, make a plan with your fellow hostages and spread out, but don’t trap yourself in a corner or under a desk where you can’t get out. If the shooter enters the room, gang-tackle him while making as much noise as possible. If you’re able to escape and encounter incoming law-enforcement, don’t try to engage them. Hold up your hands with your fingers spread so they know you’re not armed, and point them toward the shooter or the last sound of gunfire.
“Remember,” he told the group, “the purpose of this is survival so you can get home to your loved ones.”