Run, Hide, Fight: Knoxville Police Department on active shooter situations


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – If an active shooter situation suddenly occurs where you are – work, the gym, the mall, or at school, would you know what to do? 

Knoxville Police Department wants to share information about what you should do when responding to an active shooter situation.

One week ago in Sevierville, a 21-year-old man opened fire at the Five Oaks Tanger Outlet mall, shooting two people and then himself; he and one of the victims died at the scene. 

In light of that tragedy, the Knoxville Police Department stopped by the WATE 6 On Your Side studios to share what everyone should know about active shooter situations – and what to do. 

Sgt. Donny Huskey with KPD says the main things they tell civilians they need to think about in case they find themselves in active shooter situations is to respond with the 3-step process, “Run, Hide, Fight.”  

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Being aware of your surroundings and what steps you can take is the No. 1 key for getting to safety in active shooter situations. 

  • Run – If you hear gunfire, can you run to safety? If so, run away from the sounds of the gunfire if you can, in a clear path.
  • Hide – if you cannot run, or if you’re pinned down in a place because of gunfire, get to a place you can hide; behind a secure door and barricade yourself, etc. and remain quiet. 
  • Fight – the last resort, if you find yourself confronted with a shooter and you’re unable to run or hide, fight with a makeshift weapon. 

Sgt. Huskey said thinking about this, and having a plan if you can – asking yourself, “what can I do right now, if this happens?” is also a best practice. 

Most importantly, call 911. Police may not be able to be there during an active shooter situation, but they will get there as quickly as they can to provide safety. 

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