FBI agent: How to survive an active shooter situation

Former FBI deputy assistant director Daniel Coulson joined “Your World” following the tragedy to share advice on how best to protect oneself if found in an active shooter situation. Step one: recognize when you’re in danger.

“The police are minutes away when seconds matter,” he said. “It’s up to you and your family and your friends to take action, to protect yourself in a situation like this. If you’re in the grocery store and you hear firecrackers going off, that’s not firecrackers. That’s somebody killing people.”


Coulson suggested for shoppers to prepare themselves for a shooting incident without being paranoid by locating the exits and planning to take all belongings and run.

“Do I put my child in a basket and run out the door? Yeah, you do,” he said. “And get space between you and whatever’s going on.” 

While customers should identify their exits in all departments of the store, Coulson explained that employees should already be aware of an active shooter plan and have designated areas to lock down and buy time. The former FBI official stressed that shooters who are normally in a hurry will not spend time fiddling with a locked door.

“They want to get this thing over with as quickly as possible,” he said. “If they get delayed by a locked door, they move on… Time is on your side here. Buy time, get yourself out of there but more importantly, try to get out the door. Just leave.”

“It’s up to us to protect ourselves,” he repeated. “Get out. Find a place to defend yourself. If you happen to be armed with a pistol, like I am, then maybe you can do some good there. But your best bet is to leave. Get the heck out.”

Coulson said the investigation into the Memphis shooting will attempt to dig up the now-deceased shooter’s motive and run an analysis on Kroger’s response in adherence to the shooter policy.




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