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wiscoblond's avatar

What would you do if you were in a large crowd and hundreds of people came running in your direction telling you to run and get out?

Asked by wiscoblond (103points) 2 weeks ago

So this happened to me last night. I went to Shake the Lake in Madison, Wisconsin. Huge fireworks festival where thousands gathered.

Just after the finale I heard 5 shots fired from a gun. Maybe about 200–300 ft away. My mind went to someone lighting fireworks in the crowd but I knew it was a gun. My husband had just walked toward the area to use a portapotty before we left. My son, his friend and I were packing our chairs. All of the sudden the crowd came running towards us. My son was almost trampled by a woman with a stroller. I was afraid we were all going to get knocked down and hurt. Not by a shooter but by the crowd.

My instincts were to not leave the area since my husband wasn’t with us and to make sure the children were safe. There were also no other shots fired since the first five. There was also no police presence in our vicinity. We weren’t the only ones to not follow the herd. We were all next to a large metal garbage bin that we could hide behind.

I’m still trying to process this. The crowd scared me more than the sounds of the gun.

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15 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Well was it a gun you heard?
was anybody harmed from it ,or were any injuries crowd related?
Never have had anything like that happen,I guess my concerns would be like yours is my family safe, but most of all get out of the way from the panicking crowd.

wiscoblond's avatar

A person was shot with non-life threatening injuries. The gun was found. A cop was injured from jumping over a concrete barrier. He was taken away by ambulance.

wiscoblond's avatar

https://wkow.com/news/top-stories/2019/06/29/shots-fired-at-shake-the-lake/

^That link has the video of the chaos. My husband was at the port-a-potty at the bottom left of the video. I was with my son and his friend to the upper left, outside of the shot in a grassy area next to the lake.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Oh WOW! Glad you and your family are safe.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I was in Compton one evening and just leaving a grocery store. Across the street I saw young men of two different gangs across the street, and they were all showing colors. I walked over to a bus stop at the edge of the parking lot and sat on the bench. It was directly across the street from the young men. There were eight or about altogether.

A gentleman with me also sat on the bench. He whispered to me why were we sitting there instead of leaving. I explained to him that to walk away would leave me with my back to them, and unable to see if anything would erupt. Sitting at the bus stop appeared as if I were going about my business, but also, the bench was concrete. If anybody produced a weapon I could take cover very quickly.

I tell this story to illustrate the point that each situation is unique, and the only thing which is consistent is that keeping alert is key. If everyone looks at their own options, running is the right choice for some, or most, but not all.
Taking cover is important. If an option is nearby, then that is the best choice.
The men I saw looked very tense, and exchanged words, but nothing erupted. A cruiser drove through the parking lot, and everyone left.

ragingloli's avatar

Wait and see what all the fuss is about.
Then go about my business as usual.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
janbb's avatar

I would probably run. As this point in our country, you don’t know whether a mass killer is active. But as @Patty_Melt wisely says, each situation is different. I have certainly been in situations where there is conflict and not run away.

Cupcake's avatar

I think listening to your intuition is the best call of action. Blindly following a crowd is usually not protective and may cause more harm to you or the people around you (such as in trampling).

flutherother's avatar

It would depend on the circumstances. I wouldn’t leave loved ones behind and I wouldn’t follow the crowd towards a narrow exit where people are likely to bunch up and fall.

kritiper's avatar

Turn and run. You’re dead meat if you stay in one spot.

chyna's avatar

Good question. I don’t know what I would do unless I was in the same circumstances. What are they teaching students to do? Do they tell them to run or to hide?

LuckyGuy's avatar

Rather than run, I’d look for cover. Then try to see what’s happening.

wiscoblond's avatar

@chyna My husband had an active shooter meeting at work and they are told the same thing as students. I believe it goes like this:

1. Run away from the area.
2. If you can’t run you need to hide.
3. Last resort is to attack the shooter.

mazingerz88's avatar

If I was alone. First is run with the crowd. They know something I don’t and that prevents me from being trampled. If I was with family then it gets complicated. I would be on the move towards where I last saw them or direction they went to while trying to get a sense of what’s really happening. I might get trampled.

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