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Missoula expert discusses how to survive a mass shooting

Alain Burrese offers advice on what to do if you are in an open and public place when someone opens fire.
Alain Burrese
Posted at 6:49 AM, Oct 27, 2023

MISSOULA — When we hear about another mass shooting, such as the one that occurred on Wednesday in Maine, it’s not uncommon to wonder how we would react in that situation.

MTN News talked with Certified Active Shooter Response Instructor Alain Burrese — the man who literally wrote the book on how to “Survive a Shooting” — about being in an open and public place when a person opens fire.

He told us that survival starts with situational awareness which means you should always get a good look at the space you’re in and if something seems off, then leave. But if you’re stuck in the open when the shooting starts, Burrese explained what you should do.

“Get off the X. Essentially you want to get out of the kill zone as quickly as possible. And part of that is being aware, and knowing where different exits are. Whenever you’re in a place like a bowling alley sure, there’s the door you came in, but where are the emergency exits? Where are the kitchen exits or the back doors, doors that we don’t normally use?" Burrese said. "But we can use [them] in an emergency. So, we need to know where those are. And we need to get out as quickly as we can. Don’t worry about zigzagging like people talk about. You are zigging and your friend is zagging and you trip each other and now you’re an easier target. Straight line to the quickest exit to get off the kill zone -- get off the X."

You can read more about survival strategies by clicking here.

Watch an extended interview with Burrese above.