Surviving a gunman: More than just run, hide, fight

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- You've heard the tips before: run, hide, fight in an active shooter situation.

But, a former police officer says it's much more than that.

The worst mass shooting in U.S. history took place just less than a year ago at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

It was 18-years-ago at Columbine when mass shootings really gained attention, though, when 13 people were killed and 24 were injured.'

"I want him to be able to save his own life and hopefully in the process save somebody else's life," said Gran Gonino, going through the active shooter training with his son.

Gonino worries about school shootings, especially with a teenage son in the 8th grade.

"They have fire drills but I see this as more of a threat than a fire," he said.

That's why Gonino, joined by his son Kye, took this course, in case one day they have to protect themselves from an active shooter.

Marko Galbreath of T4Tactics knows mass shootings are a reality, that's why he teaches people of all ages how to survive one.

Galbreath says one of the biggest killers is denying gunfire.

He says victims often freeze, leaving them vulnerable.

10-year-ago, a Virginia Tech student who survived two gunshot wounds in the massacre in 2007, told him that people were letting the shooter shoot them as he walked through the classroom and just sitting there.

Instead, Galbreath says, you have to act.

Run if you can, but if not, you need to hide and be ready to fight.

"What are you going to do? It's do or die, literally," Galbreath said.

At the first sign of gunfire, turn off the lights, put an object just a few feet from the door, and scatter around the room.

Galbreath says this disrupts the shooter's plan, but then you need to be ready to move.

Kye likes to think he would turn into what the instructor calls a 'sheepdog' someone who rises to the occasion.

During training, he practiced waiting by the door for a potential gunman to walk in, ready to take him or her down.

"Now I know he'll probably be right next to that door and maybe grab one of his buddies to help him," said his father, Grant.

Galbreath says one of the biggest mistakes people make is not running when they can.

If you're interested in active shooter training, contact T4Tactics at 434 444-5522 or by their website,

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