to Surviving an
Active Shooter Situation
From attending meetings to mentoring and managing others, supervisors have a lot on their plates. Sometimes, they also assume the unpleasant responsibility of letting someone go. For that, Mike Dawid lost his life.
Dawid was the service center manager at Knight Transportation in Katy. For undisclosed reasons, Dawid had to fire 65-year-old Marion Guy Williams.
Williams returned to the facility two weeks later, stormed into the break room, cracked off a warning shot and shouted, “Y’all ruined my life.”
From there, Williams hunted Dawid down and killed him, leaving his wife a widow and his two-year-old son without a father. Williams also injured two other employees before killing himself.
Williams is another in a long line of perpetrators law enforcement classifies as active shooters. An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms, and there is no pattern or method to their victim selection.
Dawid’s murder was one of three workplace shootings in the Katy area during the past year. Click2Houston.com notes that with several large companies announcing layoffs, it is critical that employers and employees prepare for violent incidents.
Any time a gunman bent on revenge opens fire, people panic. And panic gets people killed.
Credible organizations such as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommend a three-step approach to navigating an active shooter situation. If you follow it, you will increase your chances of staying calm and surviving the ordeal.
Option 1. Run
Running should be your first choice. Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you enter, and make sure you have an escape route in mind. Leave your belongings behind, and take anyone who is willing to go with you. Don’t let anyone’s indecisiveness slow you down.
If running isn’t an option, look for a safe hiding place. Your hiding place should protect you if shots are fired in your direction, and it should not trap you or restrict your movement. Lock the door or barricade the entry, silence your cell phone and turn off radios, televisions and other sources of noise.
Option 3. Fight
As a last resort, fight the shooter, but only if your life is in imminent danger. Active shooter situations are no time for passive responses. If you choose to fight, commit to your actions. The DHS recommends you act aggressively by yelling, throwing items at the shooter and trying to incapacitate them.
Finally, call 911 as soon as it is safe. Again, stay calm and answer the operator’s questions.
The operator will ask for your location. If you don’t know the address, look for landmarks, cross-street signs and buildings. For more information, see these top 10 tips for calling 911.
The DHS offers a downloadable guide to help employers prepare their employees for active shooter situations. Texas Mutual also encourages you to see our tips for protecting your business and your employees from violence.
Did you know?
Workplace violence is a pervasive issue that can affect any workplace, regardless of industry. Here are some facts that can help you protect your employees.
Workplace violence is the third-leading cause of fatalities, behind motor vehicle accidents and slips, trips and falls. Violence comes from two sources:
- Third parties, typically in the form of robberies.
- Within a company’s ranks.
Employees who exchange money with the public, work alone or in small teams, or work early-morning or late-night hours are at increased risk of third-party violence.
People who work in health care, retail, transportation and other service industries are exposed to the highest risk of workplace violence.
In Texas, 85 percent of workplace violence victims during 2014 were men.
When men are the victims of homicides, robbers are the most common assailants.
Relatives or domestic partners are the most common assailants in homicides involving women.
Active shooter situations incite panic, and panic gets people killed.