NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A mass shooting at a Tennessee Kroger this week sheds light on the issue of mass gun violence.
Thursday’s shooting in Collierville injured fifteen people, but it’s far from the first mass shooting Tennessee has seen so far this year.
The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as one where four or more people are shot. According to the database, Tennessee has seen 10 mass shootings so far in 2021, including 13 people killed and another 43 injured.
Drill Sergeant Alverto Austin said Thursday’s shooting is just the latest example of why everyone needs to be prepared.
“We just don’t know what’s going to happen, okay. And it’s sad that it has come to this but that’s the reality of it,” said Austin, who owns Be Sober Be Vigilant Protection Academy.
Whether at the grocery store, at a restaurant, or a public event, Austin said active shooter training is something everyone should all consider.’
“Unfortunately a lot of us don’t get the adequate training for these type of situations and when they happen we have no clue on what to do,” Austin said.
Austin said the first step is to come up with a quick exit strategy whenever you walk into a crowded place or event.
“Come up with the what if’s, sit down with your team, with your family, with your organization and go over scenarios, what if scenarios,” Austin said. “Most people’s tendency, when they hear gunfire is to just break out and start running. But you need to have an assessment on where is the gunfire coming from.”
At that point, Austin said it’s time to decide whether to run, hide, or fight.
“Get out of that environment, get out of harms way, get out of the crossfire. But if the situation dictates that you cannot bring separation or evasion, then you definitely want to find a nice concealed location,” Austin said.
Some employees and first responders in Thursday’s incident had been through active shooter training and employed tactics like these, including those who used the store’s freezers to hide. Austin believes tactics like these saved lives that day.
“A lot of the employees and a lot of the customers there, they employed cover and concealment at the same time. So just breaking contact, separation from the active shooter, I think they were spot on in doing that,” Austin said.
In addition, experts say you should be equally aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity, including if the way someone is dressed seems out of place. An example used was if someone is wearing a long coat in the summertime.
For more information on Be Sober Be Vigilant Protection Academy’s situation awareness and active shooter training, email email@example.com.