Mindset key to surviving active shooter

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Corporal Marisa Saccio gives a demonstration on blocking doors in case a shooter tries to go in a classroom Tuesday in Room 208 of Nursing.  Monica Correa

Corporal Marisa Saccio gives a demonstration on blocking doors in case a shooter tries to go in a classroom Tuesday in Room 208 of Nursing. Monica Correa

Nearby shooting prompts lockdown at Northeast Lakeview College.

By Jennifer Luna


Gunfire is the last thing students expect to hear on campus, but the afternoon of Feb. 22, a nearby shooting caused the district police to order a lockdown of Northeast Lakeview College.

A shooting around 2 p.m. in the 7400 block of Kitty Hawk followed a car chase that left sheriff’s Deputy Manuel Herrera wounded and a suspect dead. The college was locked down for about two minutes, a routine safety procedure.

About 4:23 p.m., police Chief Don Adams sent a districtwide email detailing the incident.

Had the incident occurred on or moved onto the campus, the information in Cpl. Marisa Saccio’s active shooter presentation 11 a.m. Tuesday at this college would have proved vital.

Saccio played a 1-minute recording of bullets fired in a shooting range and asked participants to count the shots. They counted 48, the number Saccio said are in a standard handgun.

People do not think a shooting is likely to happen near them or to find themselves in the middle of a Newtown, Conn., mass shooting.

A video, “Shots fired on Campus,” detailed courses of action, such as figuring out a plan to get out or hide or call for help. Other suggestions included keeping out if the shooting is in the building, spreading out to hide, and “taking out” if you plan to fight the shooter.

Saccio said none of the actions is wrong, but the most important action is survival mindset.

She said individuals need to think, “I’m going to try to get out of here as best as I can.”

Saccio said about 95 percent of active shooters are male, but “our society is changing; it could be anybody.”

Saccio recalled the story of a female student calling the district police and saying there was a young man outside of a classroom at 9 a.m. every Wednesday. Saccio said the police ultimately had to issue the man a criminal trespass warning because he was not a student and had been stalking his ex-girlfriend for three weeks.

Saccio encouraged the participants in the training to communicate with campus police.

“Behavior escalates,” Saccio said. “It starts little. It can be something or it can be nothing.”


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