Staying Safe When Tragedy Strikes

Survivors are still reeling from shock and disbelief after last night’s movie theater shooting in Lafayette.
While the tragedy unfolded in neighboring Louisiana, local law enforcement tells News 25 how you react in a situation like this can mean the difference between life and death.
Today, Gulfport resident and mother Trahera Neely waited patiently outside of the Cinemark Theater for her son, something she didn’t decide to do until she heard about last night’s shooting. “I was going to drop my son off with a friend to see a movie and I was kind of, you know, scared of them here by themselves. So, I wanted to be here when they come out, you know, because that was horrible.”
Neely’s fear stems from the tragic shooting that rocked the town of Lafayette, Louisiana last night. Lafayette police say 59-year-old John Houser entered the Grand 16 Theatre like any other patron. He opened fire, leaving two dead and seven injured before killing himself as police closed in.
Police here on the Coast say yes, this was an isolated incident but a tragedy like this can happen anywhere. Major Jim Adamo with Biloxi Police Department said, “Always be vigilant. Now, I’m not just saying you should walk around constantly on your guard and looking like you’re paranoid, but at the same time you have to constantly be vigilant. Be aware of your surroundings. Watch what people are doing, especially if you have children.”
Major Adamo stresses that when you are in confined places like theaters or mall, preparation is key. But if you’re there and tragedy does strike, what you do next could be the difference between life and death. “Because when things go awry, we don’t have time to think about a plan. What am I going to do? You’re going to whatever you were trained to do. So if you don’t train, you don’t think about it, then chances are you’re going to be a sitting duck,” said Major Adamo.
Neely left the theater with her son safely, but says she’ll continue to take extra precautions. “I think from now on, I’m going to be here with them. Because, I’ve been kind of, like, on edge since I left from here because you always have that ‘what if’ something happens.”
Categories: Local News, News

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