Tip 1: Stay Calm, Breathe and Don’t Make Sudden Moves. Do not scream or say anything, as that can escalate the individual’s anxiety and cause them to panic with their weapon.
Tip 2: Make Eye Contact. Most criminals with weapons will try to dehumanize the victim to feel better themselves. Eye contact makes it personal and more morally difficult to harm you.
Tip 3: Figure Out the Assailant’s Goal. In the case of a mass shooter, their goal is to kill & notoriety, so a quick exit is worth some risk. If the assailant is a wronged lover, an estranged spouse or an angry opponent, listening and empathizing can pay off. People threatening with a weapon typically don’t want to use it. They want to be heard and understood.
Tip 4: Risk Your Possessions, Not Your Safety. If they want money or your possession, it is best to comply. Listen to their instructions carefully and let them know you are complying, move or act in a way that can’t be misinterpreted.
Tip 5: Communicate Your Actions. Let them know you intend to cooperate. Even when dealing with authority, explain yourself “Is it okay for me to open my wallet for my ID?” Take any action slowly. Follow their directions if you can.
Tip 6: Do Not Challenge Anyone With A Weapon. You cannot out run a gun and trying to disarm without training can cost you your life. Remember to keep calm and stay out of the way. Your #1 job is to get out unharmed.
Tip 7: Light Conversation & Listening Humanizes You. If you can, engage them in a light conversation and if possible, direct it to a conversation about them, not you. If they believe you are listening, they feel valued. You can buy time and be the audience. Don’t talk a lot—listen.
Tip 8: Avoid Personal & Divisive Topics. Avoid questions & conversation on topics like politics or religion or fairness—anything that causes conflict in the masses. In fact, it is best to just repeat their point of view (not agree or disagree but reflect their feelings). Example: ” It sounds like you have had a hard time”.
Tip 9: Note Anything Unique or Descriptive About Them. Avoid staring but make mental notes on any information that will help authorities identify assailants once the crisis is over. A License plate, car or cell phone make & model, unique clothing, accents, names, height, hair, dialog, tattoos or marks.
Tip 10: Know Yourself & Your Limitations. If there’s an opportunity to get out to a safe location, take it. But only if you are pretty sure of success. If the assailant offers you an out—go, don’t hesitate. If you leave others behind, you can give authorities an advantage to save them.
There are no cookie cutter directions to help you if you are every caught in any situation. Use your instincts and look for opportunities. And consider adding a mobile security team to protect your business with prevention.
South Bay Security is the local security authority of the South Bay, providing patrolling, security and safety programs for residents and businesses in cities from El Segundo to Long Beach. Their experience has helped their staff diffuse many difficult security situations. They specialize in protecting their clients’ properties, while upholding the respect and dignity of their clients and their employees, as well as the public. For more information on their mobile security or full service, contact them at 310-539-3505 or by email. Set up a time to review your security needs and address concerns. South Bay Security is located in the Rolling Hills Plaza where they also provide the security, as well as at many other South Bay locations. Visit their website at: southbaysecurity.com.