Local security expert gives advice for possible active shooter situations

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Recent mass shootings may have you worried about becoming a 'soft-target', falling victim to a situation that is out of your control. Tragic shootings like Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa prove that shootings can happen anywhere at any time. If active shooter situations can't be prevented, how can one be prepared and stay safe?

Mass shootings are happening at schools, grocery stores, and now hospitals. Anyone can become a victim if they are at the wrong place at the wrong time. An expert says that being aware of your surroundings and preventing easy targets is key.

“Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t think it can never happen to them, and this stuff happens a lot," says Derek Dieter, CEO of Dieter Security.

Mass shootings are happening here at home and across the country. Innocent people are becoming targets in public places, so what can you do to protect yourself from an active shooter? Local security expert Derek Dieter says the easiest thing you can do is be more aware of your surroundings.

“There’s violence that goes on every single day with people being shot at or killed across this country, and it happens in this vicinity also," says Dieter.

For business owners, security systems or personnel can help protect people inside a building, and also deter possible possible gunmen looking for an easy target.

“Having somebody that’s qualified to protect you and your place of business, or where you shop or whatever, that’s the biggest deterrence," Dieter advises. "Because of a lot of them don’t have that, don’t have them trained and if some people want to come in and do surveillance before they come in, a lot of times that will happen. They’ll look and they’ll say ‘doors are wide open, they don’t have any security, I can go and do what I want inside that building.’”

If you're worried about becoming a victim out in public, Dieter says the best thing you can do is plan an escape route in case the worst happens.

“You just have to have a plan," advises Dieter. "To the extent of, if you’re walking in a store, and something happens, ‘what would I do? Where would I go?"

"It’s like a mind exercise to be aware of where you are, but with the natural condition of a human being, after a couple days that’ll go away. So you just always have to be on your game," says Dieter.

Local hospitals have not commented on whether they will increase security after Wednesday's shooting at an Oklahoma hospital.

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