Personal protection expert shares tips to stay safe in event of attack at bar or restaurant

WICHITA, Kan. The Thousand Oaks, Calif. mass shooting at a bar early Thursday morning is the latest example of violence shattering the sense of security most people expect when they go out.

Thursday afternoon, Eyewitness News personal protection expert Joe Schillaci showed what you should look out for and how to be prepared in the event that an active shooter targets a restaurant or bar where you're a customer.

Whether you're going out to a restaurant or out for a night on the town, Schillaci says one of the first things you want to do when you get inside is to make note of the exits and which one is nearest to you.

Schillaci says you should remember "Run, Hide Fight," with the "run" being the first option to take if you can.

"The first action is to get away from that danger," Schillaci says.

If you can't get out, you should hide with your cell phone on silent. If you can't get to a restroom or safe place out of harm's way and find yourself trapped by the attacker, that brings you to the final option, fight.

"If the door gets breached and the gunman comes in, you have to attack, you have to attack," Schillaci says. "You want to throw objects. If you've got things you can throw, you want to attack. You do not want to cower down."

The management of the Pumphouse in downtown Wichita says the bar is prepared for emergencies.

"We run a pretty high-tech scanner at the front door so we know who is coming in," says Pumphouse General Manager Daron Adelgren. "We have lots of exits. We have lots of trained security management. Staff is trained, so all of this is down with our guests' safety in mind."

Wichita residents who spoke with Eyewitness News Thursday say they stay vigilant when they leave home.

"See where the exits are, make sure my back isn't to any doors, look and see who all is in there," Wichitan Alex Kern says. "But sometimes you can't do that wherever you go. You just have to be aware of your surroundings."

Schillaci says no matter where you're headed, it's important to leave your home with a plan and to know how you're going to stay safe.