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Three things to know IF you encounter a shooter

Posted at 5:48 PM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 19:48:17-05

Would you know what to do if you encountered an active shooter? Experts say 80 percent of us freeze when confronted with danger.

According to law enforcement, being prepared for the worst case scenario can be as simple as having a plan of action already in place.

If at all possible, you're encouraged to find the nearest exit and run for safety.

If exiting the building is not an option, find a secure location such as an empty room or closet, turn out the lights, silence your phone and use anything you can find to barricade the door.

In the event you have to confront the attacker, look for anything in the room that can be used as a weapon. If multiple people are in the room, team up and throw objects at the gunman.

Sgt. Jason Cantrell with the Nampa Police Department emphasizes that confronting the attacker is an option that's to be used as a last resort.

"We don't want people taking a chair to a gun fight," Cantrell says. "We want people getting away, people hiding and we want people calling the cops... calling law enforcement. So, we recommend when it's safe to do so, picking that phone up and calling 9-1-1."

Even with the number of public shootings on the rise, your odds of being in the wrong place at the right time are still very slim.

"We live in the community we work in. And, I don't feel it's any more dangerous than it was yesterday or the day before. We have a very safe community," Cantrell says. "We just want everybody to have the mindset just in case."

In general, it's recommended to always be aware of your surroundings and to make note of exit signs when you're in public places.