What to do during an active shooter situation

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HARVEY COUNTY, Kan. (KAKE) -

This week, we've been hearing the horrible stories of people who were shot at a concert in Las Vegas and say they are lucky to have survived. But a local expert says more than luck is knowing what to do. 

Corporal Brandon Huntley is the assistant team leader for the Harvey County Sheriff's Office SWAT team. He reviews videos of the night of the Las Vegas massacre.

Huntley has been an active shooter training instructor for more than six years. He was shift supervisor the afternoon and evening of the Excel plant shooting in February of last year, so he's had personal experience with an active shooter.

 "You need to stop the shooter is priority number one," he said.

And those being targeted have to find ways to survive until the shooter is stopped.

Huntley said there are differences between such an open-air venue and that of a closed building, but said there are similar principles of survival.

"You want to get off the X," Huntley said. "You want to get off the area of danger. And you're going to have to evacuate and you just run." 

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At first, running or moving at all was difficult for Las Vegas survivor Ryan Ulmen-Kyler of Lindsborg.

"And I was like 'just don't move,'" Ulmen-Kyler said. "Just lay still because we didn't know where he was."

Huntley says confusion is normal in such an event. 

Another tip:  find a protective barrier, if possible. That's something Ulmen-Kyler and her friends did.

"And I said, we have to get to that food truck. That's the only thing that's going to save us. If we can get there we can hide behind it."

"A truck is good. That'll take you out of the line of fire," Huntley said.  

But it's still just a step to escaping the kill zone. Experts also say being on our phones and shooting video endangers us by distracting us from our surroundings.

"A moving target is much harder to target than somebody that's just standing there, sitting there or hiding."  

Wherever we go, Huntley said think about exits and escape routes. He said you may need to leave a different way than you came in so you can escape with your life, as did our neighbor in Lindsborg.  

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have a photo to share with us? Email it to news@kake.com.

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