Experts have tips to stay safe with more shootings locally, nationwide in safe spaces

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Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Experts give tips on staying safe with more shootings in safe spaces
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Bay Area is seeing an abundance of local shootings at a time when mass shootings have happened nationwide in what are considered safe spaces.

SAN JOSE Calif. (KGO) -- It was a quiet Tuesday afternoon in the East San Jose neighborhood that is the home of Hillview Library, a big difference from the scene neighbors saw on Monday.

"Nothing happened in this neighborhood before like this," said neighbor Praveena Kumar. "It was really shocking and surprising for us."

That Monday afternoon, two men chased a third into the library while shooting at him, authorities say.

The victim is expected to survive, and the two suspects are still at large.

It came after a shooting Sunday at a San Jose Safeway, killing an employee identified by family as Manny Huizar.

RELATED: Violent weekend in San Jose claims 2 lives, including Safeway employee killed in shooting at store

Police say the circumstances are still under investigation and the search for that suspect also continues.

The local shootings are coming at a time when more tragic shootings have happened nationwide in what are considered safe spaces.

"It's important for people to know that, yes, they should be protected, they should be thinking about potentially knowing an escape route, for example," said Dr. Michael Stanton, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor of public health at Cal State East Bay.

But Stanton also says staying relaxed is just as important as knowing how to react.

"Stress hormones like cortisol, that run in our bloodstream, when we're nervous or scared, that is good in the short-term, when we need to use it, but over the long term, it's actually poisonous to our body," he said.

VIDEO: Retired officer gives advice on how to stay safe during violent crime

So what skills do you need to hone to help go on about daily life more relaxed?

Dr. Cory Lepage, an assistant professor of criminal justice, says mastering situational awareness is key.

"When you're in a library or when you're in a grocery store, (think) 'If I had to leave very quickly, how would I do that? If I couldn't leave and I had to take cover. How would I do that?'" Lepage said, "Once you have those two pieces of information in the back of your mind, it's likely that if something were to happen, you've already thought about it and you could rely back on that thinking."

San Jose PD tells ABC7 that in the event of an active shooter, they respond and follow the countywide active shooter policy.

For now, the investigation into the most recent shootings and search for suspect continues.

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