How to Survive a Shooting at an Outdoor Event

Playing Separating From the Crowd and Other Tips for Escaping Festival Shootings

It was total chaos as people ran for their lives after an active shooter opened fire at a garlic festival in Northern California Sunday evening.

People never expect something like that to happen to them, but it's important to be prepared for tragedy and get out alive.

Security expert Steve Kardian spoke to Inside Edition about ways to escape a shooting at an event like that. 

"Visualize. Mentally prepare — ‘What would I do if?’ It doesn't matter what the crisis would be, that gets your mind in the state, look for the exits, think about what you're gonna do if it happens. Fold it up, put it in your back pocket, enjoy yourself,” he said on being prepared. 

He said to never assume loud bangs are fireworks, like some of the people at the festival did.

"You hear that noise, what should your first action be? Start moving. Don't wait. Every second you wait, those are additional shots that are fired, those are additional injuries of people that could be killed so start moving right away,” Kardian said. 

Instinct may tell you to run with the crowd, but that's actually the opposite of what you should do.

“Start moving towards the exit and don't run with the masses, don't run the same way everybody else is,” he says. "It’s important to that you break up. The bigger groups, the larger targets are what he's going to be shooting for.” 

It's crucial to listen for a pause in gunfire. That could be a sign the shooter is reloading.

"During that eerie silence between when he's reloading the gun and shooting, you have seconds, it could be 2 it could be 10, you can get 40, 50, 60 feet away, that can make the difference between living and dying,” Kardian said. 

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