How to deal with an active shooter at BC’s Shots Fired session

Elliot Tritto

Central Bureau Chief


In Dave Chappelle’s very first Netflix Special, Chappelle gave a personal insight on current events. “This is the Age of Spin. This is an age where nobody knows what the f@#$ they’re looking at.” America is undergoing the weirdest time in its short yet effective history. With a bittersweet taste, we have technological advances in science and communications while the rising issue of mass shootings and climate change is now the norm.

Specifically, mass shootings have become a sensitive topic that a lot of the nation is uncertain about how to absolve.

As BBC states in “Guns in the US: The statistics behind the violence,” “A mass shooting is defined as a single shooting incident which kills or injures four or more people, including the assailant.”

To learn about the proper protocol to prevent, prepare and what to do in a shooting, Broward College provided a lengthy and informative lecture entitled “Shots Fired.”

Hosted by Lieutenant Francisco Lizano, the panel invited students to sit and listen about what to do when a shooting breaks out. The lieutenant started off the speech by explaining the protocol for safety within Broward College.

“All three main campuses have a lieutenant or Director of Safety and Security.  My role, here in Central Campus, is to ensure your safety and security while you attend Broward College.”

While this panel took place at a Broward College campus, its main message resonates more with the general public.

Specifically, how to deal with an active shooter in many public places. Whether it be movie theaters, schools, stores, airports or concerts, this presentation gave students better comprehension of what to do.

The lieutenant underwent a PowerPoint presentation screening pictures, statistics and what they will or won’t discuss.


SWAT officer going over safety measures with BC students. Jovan Subrath/TheObserver


Lizano brought up a fascinating point about our observations. “If you hear something that sounds like gunfire, like a motorcycle backfiring. You might say to yourself, oh that was nothing; that was a car. At this point, while you’re here, if you hear something related to gunfire, treat it as such.”

Subsequently, Lizano wanted the students to have a mindset of doing three things in the act of a shooter, run, hide, fight.

“Don’t worry about your classes, your finals, mid-terms, or anything other than getting in your car or running to University Drive, somewhere safe.  Leave. I want you to leave. Trust me,” he said.

Lizano later showed a video that tackled the three things to do, run, hide, fight. During the video, it mostly illustrated what to do when hiding. From what I’ve gathered, when you hide in your classroom, turn off the lights, lock the front door, put heavy objects in front of the door, take off bags, backpacks and materials off of desks. Pretty much, your goal’s purpose is to make the room look empty.

After the video, Lizano brought in two officers that monitor Broward College Central Campus. One of the officers mentioned, “Hit them, wherever. Cheat if you have to. Pull hair, pluck eyes, kick them in the genitals. Desperate times call for drastic measures.”

Throwing objects also helps to throw off the shooter’s vision. The other officer quoted, “Don’t stop until the shooter is unconscious.”

One crucial element that a lot of times isn’t brought to the citizen’s attention includes the police involvement with citizens. The officer mentioned how the police would react.

“Make sure you give specific details of your location. Otherwise, we won’t know where you are. When we come, keep your arms out, spread your fingers, and listen to everything we say and do. Do not leave. We will protect you.” I know it’s a lot to take in, but I feel it’s practical to get the message out. I hope everyone’s concerns are fulfilled and get an open mind about what to do,” said one of the officers.

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