Would you know what to do in a theater shooting? Would you be able to protect yourself, your family and your fellow patrons?
The fictional story below accounts how one man reacted to a theater shooting. Do you think he handled it well? Would you do anything different? Let us know in the comments.
Theater Shooting Scenario: What Would You Do?
Every so often, you gotta give in to your wife, right? I mean, happy wife = happy life. So, I finally gave in to her endless pleas to go see the latest chick flick at the theater up the street. After we waited in line for what seemed to be an eternity, with her hanging all over my arm, wanting to hold my hands and plant wet ones all over my face, we were finally able to pay for the movie.
Of course, we got her some popcorn, a soda and some Swedish Fish to snack on. We found our way 2/3 of the way back in a packed out movie theater with stadium style seating.
At least these chairs recline a bit so I can catch a few winks of sleep, I thought as my day dreaming made my foot catch one of the steps prematurely. I lost my balance, but thankfully, I was able to juggle all of the food that my wife wanted no part in carrying.
She'd eat it though.
As soon as we sat down she ripped the popcorn out of my hands with eyes glued to the big screen in front.
Ah well. Even though she was a pain, I loved her. She was my gal.
I'm not sure exactly when, but shortly after that, I fell asleep and was eventually woken up by a very loud and realistic bang along with screams of bloody murder.
Groggily, I sat up in my chair and glanced over to see my wife's stricken face with eyes and mouth agape. A look of sheer terror in her face, I asked her what happened.
Up front, what sounded like two gunshots accompanied by two flashes of light echoed throughout the giant room. Clearly, this was not a part of the movie, because the screen portrayed a couple of chicks driving in a car, smiling and singing their favorite song.
There was a lot of noise and screaming coming from the front of the theater, most of which I couldn't make out. However, one very agitated female voice kept screaming over and over: “You killed him! You killed him!”
Someone has to be playing a joke on us. Right? Because this sort of stuff doesn't actually happen to ordinary people in our little hometown. Does it?
BANG! BANG BANG BANG!
This time, my wife let out a shrill noise, but I didn't bother to look at her. There was someone up in the front of the theater who had a gun, and may have actually killed someone. There were people shrieking all around the room, and people were hiding behind seats out of fear of being the next victim.
“Baby? Baby listen to me. I need you to get down on the ground and lay there until it is safe. Okay? Can you do that for me?”
Nothing. She was in shock. I looked back to the front of the theater just in time to see this criminal pointing his gun toward those of us lucky enough to be in the back.
Just as the first shot rang out, I threw my wife to the ground and got on top of her.
I'm not sure how many shots were fired this time, but one thing was for sure: this bastard's gotta go. I told her to stay put one more time, and I formulated a plan to put an end to this madness.
The gun shots were loud. Much louder than anything I've ever heard before, even though I regularly go to the range to train with my own pistol. I guess that's why I wear ear protection, though.
I got up to my knees so I could peer up and over the seat back. I couldn't see anything at this point because the screen went dark. The criminal must have been shooting at the projection room in order to get the last advantage over his victims. And now, it was pitch black in here minus the very dim running lights on the ground. I knew that if I turned my phone light on, he'd have a target to shoot at.
Suddenly, from off to my right somewhere, came an elderly male voice that said, “What do you want from us?”
The reply came in the form of a few gunshots. I ducked back down behind the seat for cover.
I had no way of knowing what time it was, or when and if the police were called. Even if they were called, this was a hostage situation, and they wouldn't come storming in here when there were innocent lives at stake.
I had my pistol, but I couldn't just shoot blindly because that would put other lives in danger. I peered around the corner, and as I did, the main lights came on. It was disorienting at first. Sort of like when you first wake up in the middle of the night to take a leak and accidentally turn the light switch on. Only this was brighter.
I was able to get a good look at this felon once my eyes fully adjusted to the bright lights. He was wearing a ski mask, and had a pistol in his hand. He continually paced back and forth and waved the pistol in the air. He could have been saying something, but I wasn't exactly sure.
There was a slight chance that I could creep up behind him whenever he walked away from me, and I took that chance.
I slowly made my way down the stairs to the front of the theater, hiding whenever necessary, and was just a few yards away from him when we made eye contact. Instantly realizing that I wasn't there a few minutes before, he pointed his gun at me, and the hairs on my neck stood on end.
I ducked, but not before the bullet from his gun hit me in the shoulder. It hurt. A lot. He must have known that he hit me, because he walked over to were I was laying, and looked at me with anger in his eyes.
This is a man who has nothing left to lose, and it was now or never. I pulled my pocket .380 and put 3 rounds into his chest. He took a few steps back, dazed, but clearly wearing a bullet proof vest.
He raised his pistol and pointed it at me. What should I do next?
Click here for the conclusion of this story.
How would you handle a theater shooting scenario like the one described above? Share your thoughts in the comments.