Field Expert Shares Tips on Surviving an Active Shooting

Bettina Dizon
Apr 06, 2021
03:50 P.M.
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Clint Emerson, a former Navy SEAL with over two decades of experience, shared a few tips on how to survive a shooting scenario.


Having mass shootings in America is no longer new to its citizens. According to experts, schools are more vulnerable to terrorizing strikes than before the pandemic because of increasing mental health issues among the younger generation and gun-related cases.

In light of the previous shootings, Clint Emerson, a former Navy Seal for over 20 years and Crisis Management Professional, appeared on BuzzFeed and shared tips on surviving an active shooter.

Screenshot of Clint Emerson during his BuzzFeed segment. | Source: Instagram/BuzzFeedUnsolvedNetwork



Running is one of the most common things people do when trying to escape, but Emerson noted it is not as simple as heading for the exit. First, one must identify where the shots are coming from without falling for sound deception.

According to the expert, sound waves make it seem like noise is coming from the opposite direction. Second, one must know any escape route for an emergency, be it at home, work, or mall.

Third, one should run in a zig-zag pattern to confuse the shooter on his target and inaccurately shoot. While some may want to run with the crowd, Emerson's fourth and fifth tip is to stay away from the herd and run from cover to cover instead of in a straight direction.


Screenshot of Clint Emerson during his BuzzFeed segment. | Source: Instagram/BuzzFeedUnsolvedNetwork


During times when running is not an option, it is best to hide from the shooter instead. Emerson's tip is to be aware of possible hiding locations in advance and avoid dead ends, such as bathrooms with only one way in or out.


Colorado currently has no requirements for purchasing firearms or registering handguns.

Good hiding spots include rooms where the door can be blocked. As such, the first thing to do when hiding is to barricade the door by stacking stuff from the entrance to the wall opposing it. While doing so, one should not have their body facing the center of the door.


When in hiding, Emerson's tip is to keep the room dark, ensure everything is locked and barricaded, remain quiet, and place your phone on silent. While waiting it out, keep the body away from walls and doors, staying as low or as high as possible. 


When there is nowhere to run and hide, the last resort is to fight the shooter. Emerson's first tip is to gather others who are willing to fight for their lives and make a plan to get hold of the gun.

According to the pro, gaining control of the spine through the hips is best; hence, the group must divide which parts of the body to tackle to take hold of the gun. It is also important to use big movements when tackling a shooter.


"When you tackle a guy, you're probably going to put him through the wall. You're gonna have strength, you're gonna have aggression like you never had before," he said. "Make sure it's controlled."

Another tip is to use improvised weapons as a form of defense, be it a fire extinguisher or a cleaning product. Emerson's last tip is to make sure the shooter is neutralized before tending to other victims to avoid worse scenarios. 


On Monday, March 22, 2020, King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, was attacked by an armed man who began shooting at random customers and staff, forcing people to panic and run away from the store.


Ten people were killed during the horrifying incident, including a police officer and father-of-seven Eric Talley, the first responder at the shooting. Many witnesses detailed their experience to the media, saddened by what had happened.

Although the authorities have arrested a suspect, any place is still susceptible to a similar attack. Colorado currently has no requirements for purchasing firearms or registering handguns.