By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The mass shooting in Las Vegas heightened our awareness of the importance to have an exit plan if something happens.

Would you know what to do in a similar situation?

Minnesota company Archway Defense trains people how to respond to an active shooter.

It’s difficult to imagine being in the middle of this kind of situation — and that’s where Archway’s Peter Johnson comes in.

“I can’t protect everybody at all times from everything,” Johnson said. “But I can empower people to take charge of their own personal protection.”
The veteran and former Federal Air Marshal arms people with knowledge. Johnson acknowledges concert-goers in Las Vegas could not have prevented or known what was about to happen.

peter johnson archway defense Minn. Company Offers Active Shooter Response Training

Peter Johnson (credit: CBS)

“After it starts, that’s where you can do something about it. Once you know about it, then it’s how quickly can I get out of this situation? What’s my skill set on emergency medical?” Johnson said.

He says it’s important to have simple awareness of your surroundings when you arrive. Know where the exits are and where you can find hard cover.

“When you’re in the middle of it, trust your gut. When your gut tells you that something is seriously wrong, despite what anyone else has to say, get out of that situation,” Johnson said.

It can be challenging in a crowd, but Johnson says listen for where the threat is coming from — and head in the opposite direction.

“The hardest part of shooting would be to shoot a moving, somebody who’s moving, especially fast,” he said. “So one of the worst things you can do is just hunker down in an open space. If you can get out, get out and move as fast as you can.”

Johnson admits a shooter aiming from above is new. Law enforcement will have to address that in training and with technology.

“Now this is something more reminiscent of what the military has to train for, at engaging at hundreds of yards as opposed to tens of feet,” Johnson said.

During the Las Vegas massacre, ordinary people became first responders. Johnson recommends everyone have basic medical training.

He says two small things you can pick up at your local store are key to carry with you: a tourniquet and QuickClot. Both will help stop bleeding.