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Thread: Got to see first hand how an possible active shooter crowd reacts (false alarm)

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    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    Got to see first hand how an possible active shooter crowd reacts (false alarm)

    OK so today the wife and I go to the mall because our 3 year old seems to grow a show size a month. When are at Tysons Corner Mall in VA and all of a sudden we heard a noise. It sounds like a herd of cattle coming through. We are in one of the anchor department stores and a couple hundred people come running through. Everyone is asking what happened and some people just start to say gun, shooting, police.

    Well from from what I have found reported a shoplifter got tackled by police and slammed into a trashcan. This evidently made a loud enough noise to cause someone to think a firearm went off. The telephone game started and next thing you know everyone is running for the doors. Now I am wife my wife our three year old and our 15 month old in a stroller. My first reaction is to make for the door but first I m trying to make sure people are getting out of it and not jamming it. I am also looking for any other possible exits (think of the airline safety announcements, the closet exit may be behind you).

    What amazed me was how many people stopped by the door or just outside. I am thinking if someone has a gun and intent on shooting get the hell out of the open. We get to the parking lot and are getting behind concrete and cars but some are just looking inside. Some people that saw the mass run outside that just got to the mall just walked into the store. I was telling people what I heard and they don't want to go in yet but others didn't say squat. Really if there is a possible life or death event going on you are going to say anything to someone else?!?!

    Well the all clear comes out and we hear from security what happened so everyone goes back in. Lucky for us because our 3 year old was trying on shoes and when my wife grabbed him he was barefoot and we got to get his back. A funny moment came while we were buying when a sales member came up to another and said the lady that had tried on a pair was on her way back. Evidently she took off out of the mall and got in her car to drive away. Can't blame her. If our car was there we would have been gone too.

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Please edit.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Watching cowboy movies as a youngster (yes, they were silent, and in black&white) taught me that if you cannot get to the head of a stampede and turn it, the best way to survive is to move away at right angles.

    Most malls provide all sorts of cover via their concrete planters. (Don't trust those pillars to be solid - see the Las Vegas Costo shooting.)

    One of the most obvious features of an active shooting situation is the sound of shooting. Even if you never before heard a gun being shot, the rapid sound of "something" making popping noises could be a clue. If you are not hearing those noises coming towards you, getting out of the path of the stampeding horde may be your best overall move for safety.

    While security and the cops seem to have tackled one shoplifter, my faith in humanity worders how many other folks were taking advantage of the confusion by picking up stuff and carrying it off with them.

    Glad to hear you and the family made it out safely. Permit me a foolish question just for comic relief: If your son has outgrown his shoes, why the fuss to go back to the store to get his shoes?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    Well for the shoes he is right at the threshold of the ones he is in. They are sandals with some play with the velcro so they will make it till summer is done but his others are too small. We did hear the alarms go off as people ran out so I am hoping they went back in after but who knows.

    As far as the stampede that was my biggest concern since I didn't hear anything that sounded like a shot. The stroller we have is a good quality one and I am pretty sure I could use it as a cow catcher and push some people out of the way. When it was over I even told my wife my first reaction was which was was the best to get out of the situation. We talked to a store owner and he said that at other malls they had a policy to get people in the store, drop the gates and get the into the most secure area usually the back with no windows or clean line of sight for the shooter.

  5. #5
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    Well the mall is a GFZ so I would have thought nothing about gunfire .. its a GFZ right? Gotta take comfort in that (right) and you should have just continued shopping.

    Of course, I'm from Chgo's south-side ... if I could not move freely about every time I heard actual gunfire, I'd still be stuck in my old basement.

    Nice that you follow the GFZ rules ... first you were sheep, now cattle ... you're moving up ! lol

    Really, don't shop there anymore....lesson learned?

  6. #6
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Gun Free victim zone

    I haven't been in a mall in decades, and probably will never set foot in one again. Last time I was in one a passerby informed me of the mall policy, which I had to go find a rules of the mall sign to find. Most malls have these rules about weapons including firearms. I have never to gone to one again.
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  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    ....
    Of course, I'm from Chgo's south-side ... if I could not move freely about every time I heard actual gunfire, I'd still be stuck in my old basement. ....
    Now this is interesting. How far south? (And I'll go first - 103rd & Yates - Trumble Park in the 40's-'50s - till we moved to Marionette Manor in ~'54.) If dad had not taken the position of traveling hotshot scientist I would have ended up at either CVS or Bowen HS. Scary thoughts about either one.)

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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