Getting Answers: protecting yourself in active shooting situations

Personal safety concerns have surfaced following the deadly shooting at the Holyoke Mall on Saturday.
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 2:48 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 30, 2023 at 5:19 PM EST
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AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Personal safety concerns have surfaced following the deadly shooting at the Holyoke Mall on Saturday.

“I think someone caught a round that wasn’t supposed to be hit and it’s very, very unfortunate, but you know, malls, houses of worship, schools, businesses, I mean you should be prepared because hope is a terrible strategy and I think we’ve reached a point where everybody should be trained,” said John Nettis, co-owner of Protective Advanced Safety Services.

The shooting at the Holyoke Mall on Saturday left one person dead and a community full of questions. Western Mass News is getting answers on personal safety advice following the fatal shooting.

“It’s very important that you understand the difference between a targeted event and a random event, so it appears, in my opinion, that this could have been a targeted event. I don’t know a lot about it, but the target may have been an adversary, somebody that they may have had contact with previously,” Nettis added.

Nettis provided custom safety instruction classes, such as active shooter training for people in the area. He shared two of the most important tips he believes everyone should be aware of.

“Situational awareness basically means understanding and identifying the situation that you’re currently in and also, background stimuluses as well. Environmental awareness is understanding and being knowledgeable as to where you are where your exits are if there’s a barrier device that you can use,” Nettis explained.

He said that situations like the Holyoke Mall shooting seem to be happening more frequently across the country, which is bringing more clients to his business for safety trainings.

“I hate to say it. Yes, we are booking into June now and I mean, the tempo, it started off a small business. We want to keep it a small business. It’s a business where we can keep up with this tempo as long as we can book out to end of June. Other than that, we will have to take on more staff,” Nettis noted.