NRV criminal justice expert explains what to do in an active shooting | WJHL

(WFXR) – According to Gun Violence Archive, the United States has seen more than 60 mass shootings in the month of May alone. While communities across the country still mourn last month’s shootings, the gun violence hasn’t slowed down.

After the deadliest of recent mass shootings – including those at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on May 14; an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24; and a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 1 – WFXR News decided to speak with a New River Valley criminologist about what you should do if you find yourself in an active shooter situation.

Dr Tod Burke, a retired former police officer and criminal justice professor from Radford University, said the most important thing to do was to leave the scene of the shooting as quickly as possible. Better yet, run.

“If you feel like you’re within range of the shots, you can run in a zigzag. This will make him less likely to be hit, depending on the type of weapon used and the shooter,” Burke said.

The next step is to hide.

“There’s a difference between hiding and covering,” Burke explained. “Concealment, you’re hidden, but that won’t necessarily stop the bullets. The cover will.

Burke says a tree trunk is a good example of full cover because a bullet can’t penetrate it.

Finally, the ex-cop says you should call 911.

“Give your location, what’s going on, if there’s a description of the individual, and specifically your location, their location,” Burke said.

If you can stay in line with the police dispatch, Burke encourages you to do so. However, he admits that if there is a mass shooting the line could be busy, but try to keep the dispatchers informed of the situation.

Blacksburg resident Maria Behnke says the recent mass shootings have made her cautious when going out.

She adds that she can’t stop thinking about it when she walks around campus.

Another Blacksburg resident, Edward Becker, responded to the same question, saying it depends because he currently feels safe in Blacksburg since the city has a history of gun violence and knows how to handle it, but he cannot. not speak for other areas.

“It’s something the community is very aware of, but I think if I was outside of Blacksburg in the local area I would be very concerned,” Becker said.

On Thursday, June 2, President Joe Biden gave a speech calling for a ban on assault weapons, adding that if a ban didn’t happen, it was important to tackle the age limit for buying these. weapons, as well as the mental health crisis. .

Elna M. Lemons