Federal Bureau of Investigation

People in Active Shooter Situations Should Run, Hide or Fight: D.C. Police Chief

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says victims in an active shooter situation should be prepared to "run, hide or fight."

In an interview with "60 Minutes" Sunday night, Lanier said most deaths in mass shootings happen within the first 10 minutes. 

"The best police department in the country is going to be a five- to seven-minute response," Lanier said. 

The FBI says nearly 60 percent of active shooter situations are over before police arrive. Lanier said anyone who finds themselves in an active shooter situation should be ready to "run, hide or fight."

"I always say if you can get out, getting out is your first option, your best option," Lanier said. "If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there."

While Lanier stressed the odds of being a victim of one of these attacks is very small, she said people should always be prepared. 

"You can be prepared, and you can have a society that's resilient, alert and conscientious without scaring people," Lanier said. 

She said she's more concerned that people will develop a numbness to the violence.

"I'm not worried about an overreaction," Lanier said. "I'm more worried about a numbness to what is potentially a reality. That's not an option anymore."

Contact Us