Active Shooter Caught on Camera

Certainly the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have brought to mind how regular people can protect themselves from an active shooter, and this video does show some strategies for that. Practicing Active Self Protection is certainly better than just waiting for your turn to die!

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Original video of the active shooter in Paris with a full interview with the lucky women:


While the Run, Hide Fight approach (popularized by Ready Houston: ) is good in general, it’s not always perfect. Greg Ellifritz has a good counterpoint to their approach here: He also has some good advice for fighting an active shooter if you’re unarmed here:


How do I protect myself from an active shooter?


  1. First, I believe that the best response to an active shooter is to have the attitude, skills, and plan to defend yourself. That means being properly trained and appropriately armed. I know that the people of France are effectively disarmed, but this terrorist attack shows the folly of that strategy. (note that the active shooter somehow got his AK without a problem) Be trained, be armed if at all possible, be ready.


  1. To defend against an active shooter, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. An active shooter is worst-case scenario emotionally, so being able to process it and stay mentally engaged to defend yourself is important.


  1. Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it. In this active shooter incident the women were unarmed, but had they had empty-handed skills they might have been able to disable that gunman!


  1. Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with your loved ones and with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today. An active shooter is by definition a time of deadly force, and you won’t get time then. So love your family and make peace with God so that you’re prepared on a spiritual level.


  1. As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from an active shooter. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from an active shooter when one comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t.


  1. Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it, especially with an active shooter. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze, but you cannot stay in a place where a deadly threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself. Every second you give an attacker is another opportunity they have to do you and yours harm, so don’t allow that. If you can, get out of there immediately. If you can’t, then look for your opportunity to ensure your own safety by whatever means necessary.


Attitude. Skills. Plan.


(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at

2 replies
  1. Joe
    Joe says:

    I don’t think that she is hanging onto her phone because she plans on finishing a communication.
    I’ve been through a life and death situation(s). I did the same thing. I was hanging onto that phone like my life depended on it. I didn’t understand why until I read Col. David Grossmans book ” on Combat”. Essentially, while under duress of a life threatening situation, your fine motor skills go out the window. Yes, I was running to save my own life. however, dropping the phone was impossible. It was like it was stuck to my hand. Obviously I survived, but it made me analyze everything that happened that day and everything that I did. Yes, I had PTSD. Yes I recovered from it, although my significant other who works in health care says that that she can still see a glimpse of it on occasion. On Combat helped me understand what my head and body were doing and thinking that day. It’s very true that you DO drop to the level of your training. It saved my life that day, but I was still clinching that phone. So, don’t be too hard on her. I can guarantee that she probably hasn’t read On Combat and doesn’t understand why she’s doing it. But she is getting her ass out of there and that’s what matters.


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