Security expert shares ways to keep safe during active shooter situations

Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Security expert shares ways to keep safe during active shooter situations
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A security expert says there are ways to protect yourself from attacks similar to the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Investigators say as the famous Gilroy Garlic Festival wrapped up Sunday night, a teenager was cutting through a fence to gain access to the area so he could open fire on the crowd gathered.

Emma Olivarez, who looks every part a carefree young woman, says the world she lives in now means not feeling safe in attending any event guaranteed to have a lots of people.

"There are just bad people anywhere you go. You just have to be really cautious, I feel," she said.

We spoke to Olivarez just as news of Gilroy's deadly shooting had reached her.

"I just found out literally today, not that long ago. And it's really sad that we are kind of losing some love with people, losing the connection," she said.

In another part of L.A., we found Tony Williams Jr. walking to the train for work in Culver City. He hates what he says is the inevitability of another deadly shooting and right afterwards, backs off from attending similar events.

"It'll be maybe a year or so, then I get relaxed again and maybe I'll jump back into the swing of things," he said.

"You don't want to change your lifestyle to where you don't go to those places," ABC7 security contributor Steve Gomez, a former FBI Special Agent, said. "You just have to acknowledge that is a potential, with that you have to know if there was some kind of active shooter going on -- how would you get out of there? Where would you go to conceal yourself from a bullet flying at you?"

He explained how the timing of the shootings can affect safety. These deadly shootings happen either nearing the end of the event or the end of the night. He gave the Pulse Nightclub in Florida or the Thousand Oaks Borderline shooting as examples. He says that's when most people let their guard down.

On Sunday, the shooter cut a fence to gain access to Gilroy's Garlic Festival on its last night. Gomez says it was an area without monitoring.

"You always want to ensure there is some kind of video camera monitoring of the fence and perimeter or have security personnel that are patrolling the area to ensure that nobody is trying to jump the fence," Gomez says.

Gomez says attendees of any event should be looking for exits, places to take cover and a way to defend themselves.

"If you had to take action what would you use as a weapon? When I go into certain places I'm always looking around to see, OK, I can use that chair, I can use that metal trash can, whatever it is I can grab to potentially use as a weapon against an attacker."

He says he mentally asks himself those questions when he walks through the entrance gate of any festival or concert he attends every single time.