CORPUS CHRISTI — You never know when you might find yourself in a life or death situation. That's why local law enforcement is teaching the public about what to do if you're facing an active shooter.
Those classes are being offered at local schools, businesses and different agencies.
There are some key words to keep in mind: avoid or run, deny entry or hide, and defend or fight. These words could save lives and local law enforcement agencies want to make sure as many people as possible make them a part of their vocabulary.
"We want everybody to be safe," said Travis Pace, who works for the Corpus Christi Police Department. "We want everybody to go to a location and come back safely, unharmed."
When mass shootings occur like this past weekend, the Department of Public Safety and CCPD are in the community educating others.
The tragedies in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH show mass shootings can happen anywhere at anytime.
"It happens, it happens quick, (and) you have to be able to make quick decisions," said Pace.
The training encourages a mindset of having a plan of action as soon as you enter a building or public space.
"Everyday you walk into anywhere you go, you need to start planning," said Pace. "How do I get in here? Where are the exits? How do I get out? Are there any improvised weapons?"
So if you're in an active shooter situation, the first thing to do is run away and avoid the shooter.
"You need to when your exits are at," said Sergeant Nathan Brandley, with the Texas Department of Public Safety. "Know where your exits are at so you can get out if you need to."
Then call 911. If you can't avoid the shooter, hide or deny entry.
"By denying entry, we mean blocking doorways, closing doors, lockdowns, those types of situations," said Sergeant Brandley.
Also be sure to turn off the lights, silence your phone, and do not make any noises.
If you happen to encounter the shooter, fight or defend like your life depends on it.
"If someone's trying to kill you, you fight by whatever means possible," said Pace.
Also if you're in a public setting, try to face the door so you know who is entering a building. Plus, prioritize your safety, ditch the phone, and keep your eyes out for any suspicious activity.
Both CCPD and the DPS offer those free active shooter response classes. If you're interested in one of the classes, contact CCPD by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contact DPS by emailing email@example.com or calling 361-698-3867.