Experienced firearm trainer discusses firearm safety after Greenwood mass shooting

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. - Following the Greenwood Park Mall shooting, the accused shooter in Sunday's mass shooting near Indianapolis has been identified. Four people, including the suspected shooter, are dead and at least two others are recovering.

Police now say 20-year-old Jonathan Sapirman used an AR15 style rifle.

Investigators say Sapirman entered the mall around five. Then, he was in the bathroom for more than an hour.

Just before 6 p.m., he walked out and started shooting. Police say about two minutes later, 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken shot and killed Sapirman ending the rampage.

Since the shooter was killed by an armed bystander, it raises the question: if you’re armed, what do you do in an active shooter situation? In an active shooter situation, if you’re armed, experts say it's important to assess the situation before drawing your gun.

Norman Hood, owner of Defensive Solutions, LLC, has taught firearm classes with his wife for almost fifty years. He says it’s important to keep yourself safe and consider whether or not others could be hurt or killed. Take a step back and look at the situation, and if you hear gunshots run in the opposite direction.

“My responsibility is to keep myself safe and my loved ones safe. I can’t keep them safe if I can’t protect myself,” said Hood. “Unless it was unavoidable, I would try and leave the scene, however, if I was put in a situation where someone was actively shooting other people, I would not hesitate to get involved, I would not hesitate to shoot.”

In his classes, hood teaches thorough firearm training for people of all skill levels. He says gun safety is important so no one else gets hurt.

Since July 1, Hoosiers have been able to carry a handgun in public without a permit. Following the Greenwood Park Mall mass shooting, more people may feel more inclined to publicly carry, but it’s important to know how to safely use your handgun if you’re in a similar situation.

Hood not only teaches how to use a firearm but also what you should do and when is the right time to use it throughout his thorough training.

In his training, he teaches four safety rules which include treating all guns as if it were loaded, never letting the end of a gun point at anything you’re not intending to shoot, keeping the finger off the trigger until you decide to shoot and have sights on the target and knowing your backstop—or where your bullet will end up.

“There’s such a responsibility to own a firearm,” said Hood. “We have to understand that if we have an unintended or negligent discharge, that bullet might strike something or someone that we don’t want to happen. Understanding the safety, learning how to shoot. You’ve got to be able to hit your target, why are you buying a pistol if you’re buying for personal safety? You have to be able to hit your target and that’s what we need to focus on.”

He says even after nearly fifty years of training, he’s still learning techniques and safety as he teaches new gun owners.

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