Run, hide, or fight: Security expert gives tips on how to react in dangerous situation at bars

Local News

Since a gunman claimed the life of 12 people in a mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, soft targets have been at the center of almost all mass shootings.

Places like the Borderline Bar and Grill, where the tragedy occurred Wednesday night, the Las Vegas Strip, churches, and schools are all considered vulnerable to an attack.

8 News NOW Reporter Karen Castro spoke with a security expert on how to react in the case of an emergency.

“If I’m going to be coming to an establishment like rebar, I’m looking to see what kind of security they have at the door and how tight is the security expert Jon Simon said.

Before he even walked in the door Jon Simon of Protection Consultant at Simon Event Group, made a number of observations outside Rebar bar.

Rebar has security on staff, as well as surveillance cameras and other layers of protection.

“So walking in, you know, one of the things, nice establishment here; what I’m looking for, the first thing, even at a restaurant, the first thing I’m looking for is my exit,” Simon said.

Along with being a security expert, Simon is a retired Metro Police sergeant.  He spoke with 8 News NOW about how the bar patrons responded during the Borderline Bar and Grill massacre in Thousand Oaks, California.

“The folks in California, they did an excellent [job],” Simon said. “It was a younger crowd. They knew exactly what to do.”

According to Simon, in the case of an active shooter situation, there are only three options: Run, hide, or fight.

“So if you’re going to run, know where you’re going to run,” Simon said. “If you’re going to hide, there’s a great bar establishment here so this bar, if need be.”

Simon says there are no rules when it comes to surviving a mass shooting.

“Whether it’s taking a bar stool and try to break it through the window like they did in California or if it’s taking off running or if I’m going to fight the assailant or try to grab the gun,” said Simon.

According to Simon, knowing where all of the exits in an establishment are is also key to getting out alive.

“We look at this area here,” Simon said as he pointed to a fence on the patio. “We know what he has a fenced in the area here. It seems like its a temporary structure so we know that it’s 100 people pushed that over, they’re gonna go over if they needed to escape.”

At Rebar, the back patio backs up to an alleyway.

“Here will allow for people to be able to exit and go out either north or south onto the roadway,” Simon said as he demonstrated how to get out of an obscured exit.

Simon believes the action of some of the young patrons inside the Thousand Oaks bar helped save lives.

“It’s been drilled into them in high school, junior high, middle school and elementary over the last 15-20 years,” Simon said.

Simon also advises having a meeting spot in case you are separated from your friends or family.

As been proven in previous mass shootings, people lose their cell phones and aren’t able to contact their loved ones.

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