Active shooter

what if I am in a shopping mail and a person start shooting what should I do


Welcome to the family and we are glad you are with us. If you are a USCCA member there are some good training videos on active shooters in the Proving ground videos. Check them out. But my advice is to escape and evade and call 911.



  1. Try not to get shot. You won’t help anyone if you’re bleeding out.
  2. If you’re with loved ones, help them try to not get shot.

Everything after #2 depends on the situation.


Welcome Ray.

There are so many variables and so many scenarios depending on proximity to cover, the shooter, a door that gets you outside… are you with loved ones, etc., etc. Situational awareness will help a lot, including having a plan if something were to happen. Any time I go to a restaurant, store, church, etc., I’m looking for entrance/exits, what can be used as cover or concealment, where to sit with an escape route and eyes on the main entrance… keeping an eye on people coming and going and can I spot a firearm on them or some other weapon (distinguish between a threat and another good guy with a gun). There’s so much that goes into it. Always be planning and always stay alert to what’s happening around you so you’re not caught off guard.


Welcome to the community @Ray94 !

As others have stated there are just too many variables for one simple answer.

Along with the other solid advice from those above I would add that you would probably want to be discreet with your own firearm. If you draw in response to the shooter either to try and engage the threat or just to have it ready as you head for safety there is a chance you could be mistaken by LEOs or other good guys as the threat.

In a dynamic active shooter situation I would likely keep my hand on the grip but keep my pistol in the holster until I positively identified the threat and had the opportunity to stop it .Though my first thought would be getting my family and myself to safety.


It depends

Generally speaking, take cover/get the heck out so you don’t get shot is tops. I think Quade5 has the best answer for being concise and comprehensive at the same time


My first instinct would be self-preservation. If I’m with people I love, they’re part of the “self.”

My claim to fame at work is the guy who never gets into panic mode when deadlines approach. I hope I show the same calmness in a life or death scenario.

Knowledge is power. Stay low and find out what’s going on without compromising your safety. Who’s involved? How many? Where? Then, make a plan to come out of it in one piece.

Keep in mind every situation is unique and there’s no “one size fits all” solution.





Not necessarily in that order.

Situationally dependent.

If I’m face to face with the shooter, I’ll fight (shoot). If I don’t know where it’s coming from, I’ll hide until I can safely run or am forced to fight.


Welcome. IDK.

I tend to agree with the others.

But you got me thinking about having a plan. But also, what if for a reason, that happened, but I were “unarmed”, so I best have two plans. Of course, both plans would be similar, but when “unarmed”, I need to be mentally prepared if I need to take a different course of action.


I don’t think a plan can be made with basically everything as a variable.

Maybe depends on what qualifies as a “plan”.

“Don’t get shot” sounds like a plan to me lol

And it really does all depends.

It’s like the old question: What’s the #1 rule in a gunfight? There isn’t even a definitively correct answer to that. Because, it depends.



IMO that’s a call you have to make for yourself. For me, with the limited time available, I would evaluate the situation from a strategic position to the best of my ability. Would it be possible to engage and eliminate the threat and survive? Would it be better to observe, report, evade, and survive? There are many variables, but as others have said, you’re no help to anyone if you’re dead. All that said, I refuse to die begging for my life. I’d rather fight to the death. What’s the old saying? I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees?


Bring a gun :wink:


In a way this kinda brings us full circle to the “should I carry with one in the chamber” thread. Bringing a gun to a gunfight doesn’t do much good if said gun isn’t ready to go. Lol


As others have said; no simple answers.
Evaluate, avoid if possible, engage if must.

There is one other thing. If you can avoid but also engage! Your answer to this is a personal one.
Do you believe you have an ethical or moral obligation to engage if possible even though you could avoid? The responsibility of carrying a firearm will force you to look deep in your gut and force you to hopefully be honest with yourself so if the time ever comes you have already made this kind of decision.


Welcome Ray, Have a great day :us:


I’d rather don’t be there

I’d rather avoid the gunfight, than show up with a gun. :wink:

Generally, that’s my rule #1. Avoid


Why do you ask this question with absolutely zero scenario descriptors? This reminds me of set up questions I used to field when I was assigned as “Press Relations Officer”.

Just askin’


I don’t think in terms of one or two fixed plans. You have certain principles, like “run, hide, fight”. Move a few feet in any direction and your perception changes. You’re closer or farther from what might be used as cover. You might be closer or farther from an exit. A plan is constantly changing depending on surroundings. Is there a back door? If there is, will there be 10 people running toward it or 200 people? If I run, where am I going? What obstacles might be in my way? Where is the shooter in relation to where I want to get to? If I hide, is there cover? Concealment? I walk into a restaurant and I’m told, “Sit anywhere you like.” Where do I choose to sit and why (run, hide, fight)? If I’m forced to fight, do I already have a weapon? Is there anything around me that can be used as a weapon? A plan is constantly changing depending on surroundings. And it can change even if I’m stationary. Let’s say they told me to sit anywhere I want in that restaurant because very few customers were there at the time. But now I’ve been there for a little while and a lot more people have shown up. Does the same plan work or did it change based on how many people are around? Or more dynamically, I was singularly focused on someone causing trouble right after coming through the front door. Did I notice that guy who walked in and went straight to the men’s room to assemble his AR and now he’s coming out of the men’s room shooting? What’s my plan now?

The more that you stay in condition yellow and think through possible scenarios as you go to various places (or even inside your own home), the more it almost becomes habit. You’ll find yourself walking into an establishment and instinctively looking for exit signs, reflective surfaces, and cover vs concealment. You’ll see certain areas and think how it looks boxed in, with nowhere to escape. And it’s not in a paranoid kind of way, but in being more observant of things we may not have paid much attention to before. We make choices that we might not have made before (e.g. sitting with your back to the main entrance vs having a view of the main entrance). A plan is dynamic and changes from moment to moment based on changes to your surroundings.


Happy Anniversary brother @Steven288 and always stay safe.