SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A masked gunman enters a movie theater you're in and opens fire. What would you do?
"I'd hit the floor," said Cameron Christiansen, who was on her way to see the new Batman movie.
"Probably duck for cover," added Chris Christiansen, Cameron's husband.
As many as 12 people were killed and another 59 were injured when a masked gunman entered a midnight showing of the latest Batman film at a Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo. The man threw a gas canister into the theater before opening fire. Police have taken James Holmes, 24, into custody in connection with the incident.
"Hopefully everyone has an evacuation plan," said Jasen Asay, a spokesman for Salt Lake City Fire Rescue.
Asay helps oversee emergency evacuation plans for businesses, including movie theaters. Although, Asay says a random act of violence like what happened early Friday morning in Colorado is hard to prepare for.
"There are certain situations that are more difficult to plan for than others," said Asay. "Some you may not be able to plan for."
Should people be scared of going to the movies?
"I don't think so," said Cameron Christiansen. "I think it was an isolated incident. I really don't think it's going to cause a bunch of people to do the same thing."
ABC 4 reporter Emerson Lotzia spoke with moviegoers today who say they'll definitely have a plan of their own if something like this is to ever happen to them.
"It's always good to have a plan for anything," said Cameron.
"It's scary...but you can't let that change the way you live your life," added Chris.
So what should you do if faced with a gunman in a building during a mass shooting?
To get that answer, ABC 4 News spoke with Randy Watt, a retired assistant police chief and a Colonel with the Utah Army National Guard. Watt has extensive combat training overseas and says four options can help save your life if you’re caught in a building during a mass shooting.
1. Get out – Look for a window or door; do anything to remove yourself from the situation.
2. Barricade – If you can’t get out, using big items to block doors will buy yourself time until authorities arrive.
3. Hide – Try to look for a desk or shield yourself underneath a seat.
4. Attack – If all else fails, throw things at the gunman or try to take him/her down. Anything you do can alter the shooter’s state of mind.
Watt says the Aurora, Colorado shooting is a reminder to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
“Go with the odds that make it less like for you to be victimized,” Watt added.