Local police lieutenant gives tips to help in active shooter scenario

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The shooting in Florida is the nation’s deadliest since a gunman opened fire in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut six years ago.

This attack reignited the debate about what can be done to protect our children.

So many are asking the tough question – if an active shooter situation happened, would I know what to do?


It’s why we asked a local police lieutenant to walk us through some potentially life-saving techniques to help you stay better prepared for the worst possible scenario.

Avoid, deny, and defend. That’s what Bristol, Virginia police Lieutenant Charles Robinette teaches to the hundreds of people that take his active shooter classes.

β€œAvoiding the confrontation is always the very best and first choice, so what we may do is come up and actually just close the door and lock it,” Robinette said.

Robinette says if you can
’t escape, through a door or window, that’s when you transition to the “deny” step.

β€œMoving this filing cabinet over in front of the door, propping a chair up and under the door knob, putting anything in between the door and the door seam that puts pressure,” he said.

Something to keep in mind, Lt. Robinette says think about your position. It’s best to find a place where a bullet can’t travel.

If your barricade starts to fail, he says to use the resources around you as potential weapons.

So in the office room,
β€œWe have a lot of chairs here that we could smash and break and take off a chair leg. We have a table right here that looks like it has some adjustable table legs on the underneath it that are metal. We could take one of those off and actually use as a club,” said Robinette. β€œThe chances of somebody being shot are pretty good. But the odds are much better and us doing that than us getting in the corner of the room and getting in a fetal position and curling up and not doing anything at all.”

Robinette is passing along these tips, not just from a law enforcement perspective. The school shooting in Florida hits a personal chord; thirteen of his immediate family members are teachers.

If you’re interested in taking one of his active shooter classes, contact the Bristol, VA Police Department.

Copyright 2018 WJHL. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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