Dayton Assistant Police Chief Bob Chabali will retire this week after more than 30 years with the Dayton Police Department.
Photo: Lisa Powell
Photo: Lisa Powell

What to do if confronted by a shooter

If a shooter opens fire in a place with little protection the best thing a person can to is run to find cover, said Bob Chabali, a retired Dayton Police assistant chief.

“If shots are fired identify as soon as you can, if possible, where the shots are coming from. Run. Zig zag. Don’t remain in one plane level but zig zag so that you become a moving target,” said Chabali, who commanded the SWAT unit in Dayton for 24 years.

“Find a hard cover.”

Chabali spoke Wednesday after a gunman’s attack on the Republican congressional baseball team in Alexandria, VA injured five, including U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana.  

>>RELATED: Southwest Ohio congressman helped aid Scalise after Virginia shooting

A gunman authorities identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill. died in a shootout with police.

Chabali said Scalise’s Capitol Police security detail clearly “minimized injury and probably prevented lives from being lost.”

He said it is likely that there will be calls for all Congress members to be protected with the security details that are routinely provided to Congressional leadership.

“There’s no doubt that there will be some security measures that will be reviewed, reassessed,” Chabali said. 

>>RELATED: Ohio leaders, Congress members react to Virginia shooting

He said it may mean certain official events are simply canceled, which he said is unfortunate in a democratic society.

And, said Chabali, there is also the danger of copy-cat shootings.

“When these incidents happen you also have to be aware that others may arise,” Chabali said. “It will definitely increase the intel part of the package as far as the security detail, in addition to increasing the numbers and also perhaps pre-plan these events more so they can prevent these things from happening.”

He urged people to be on alert when they go out in public.

“If it doesn’t look right make sure that you make a statement, make sure that you contact authorities,” Chabali said. 

He said a person wouldn’t normally think that a baseball practice was a place to be on high alert but said after what happened Wednesday “it’s going to have to be.”

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