Ken Davidson gives rundown of active shooter situations at Rotary Club

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2016


That is the message delivered at Rotary this week by Ken Davidson, training officer with the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, in the event you encounter an active shooter.

“Always have a plan,” he advises. “It crosses my mind every building I walk into.” He never enters any building that he doesn’t scope out the lay of the building and what escape routes exist in the event an active shooter enters and starts firing.

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Davidson said victims are usually random targets, and any time you are going into a crowd you need to be alert and have a plan.

He elaborated on the three words.

Your first choice is to Run and escape if you can. “Forget your stuff, you can always come back for it later. Encourage others to run with you, but don’t let them slow you down. Run and leave them behind if you have to. “Once outside and away from the shooter, keep running until you are behind something safe. Stop other unsuspecting persons from entering the building if you can.

If you can’t run, the second choice is to Hide—quietly and quickly. Turn your cell phone off. You don’t want it ringing and giving your location away. Turn out the lights, lock the door, if possible, and place heavy furniture against the door.

As a last resort – Fight. But if you do, do so with aggression. Use anything available as a weapon. Even a pencil or pen in the eye could stop or slow down the aggressor.

Do not go down without a fight. If there are several of you, all can attack the shooter, disarm and take him down. Make up your mind ahead of time. “Keep your head. Don’t freak out. Have a plan, and get out of the situation,” he advises.

Davidson said once law enforcement officers arrive, their first objective is to seek and take out the shooter. “They’ll run by you. We are trained to run to the noise and stop it.”

Davidson answered several questions about what difference it makes if the “good guys” carry a gun. Can they stop the carnage? His opinion is that as a U.S. Citizen you should carry a weapon; but you should also know how to use it. “Be trained. Know what you’re carrying and what it will do.” He explained the Sheriff’s Office offers weapon training classes especially for women. The next scheduled class will be held October 1. The class is limited to 30. Interested persons should call the Sheriff’s Office and sign a waiver for a background check. It is not necessary to own a gun, as weapons are supplied. In fact, Donaldson recommends not buying one until after taking the class. However, if there is a gun in the home, you may bring it.

Donaldson also fielded several questions regarding open carry permits, where and when you can carry the weapon. These topics are also covered in the class.