Staying safe in public following deadly weekend

Shootings in Portland, Pittsburgh, and South Carolina led to a violent Easter weekend across...
Shootings in Portland, Pittsburgh, and South Carolina led to a violent Easter weekend across the country, leaving many injured and three dead.
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 10:03 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A push to protect our community after a rash of mass shootings has law enforcement on high alert.

Going out to an event or festival is normal for a lot of people, especially as spring comes to an end and summer cranks up, but doing so could end deadly.

Shootings in Portland, Pittsburgh, and South Carolina led to a violent Easter weekend across the country, leaving many injured and three dead.

“Everyone goes to a public place, in a setting like that to have fun,” said Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd.

The sheriff said staying aware of your surroundings will keep you safe.

“You know, it’s 80 degrees but someone is wearing a long coat,” he said. “Someone is carrying a backpack that is not appropriate for that situation. Things like that may draw attention.”

Boyd said when officers respond to mass shootings, they heavily rely on communication across multiple departments to keep law enforcement aware of what to look for.

“The 911 dispatch center can link all of our communications together instantly. So, we can all talk together and have that information going out simultaneously,” he said.

Although staying alert is one way to stay safe, Boyd said the way you respond is a little different from what has always been taught when a mass shooting happens.

“The old rule concept that we used to teach was barricade, hide, try to lock you in somewhere. But if you are in an open-air concept space and you can escape the situation, that is your priority,” he said.

Boyd added many victims are constantly looking down at their phones, so it’s wise to keep your eyes up to know how to get out of harm’s way.

A number of those shootings took place in “soft targets”, or public places with little protection.

The Department of Homeland Security is searching for ways to lessen the threat of soft targets. They have already started to work on technology that can immediately detect threats in real-time.

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