OKLAHOMA CITY --The violence spilled off the screen and into the theater, when a deranged gunman opened fire on an auditorium full of Colorado movie goers.
Tragically, scenes like this play out in public places across the country and no two people respond alike.
Nic Dion said, "The first thing I'd do is pray that everyone is safe."
Aaron Cox told us, "Get down or tackle the guy."
Miranda Dellinger said, "I don't know what I'd do really. Run for my life probably."
If the shooter is at a distance, law enforcers said running away should be your first plan; at 40 feet, you're a difficult shot in a chaotic environment.
If the gunman begins to fire in your direction, run in a zig zag or unpredictable pattern; a moving target is much harder to hit.
Other ideas include finding cover fast, hiding behind heavy furniture or dropping to the floor and playing "opossum."
Former bank teller Pamela Millcan told us, "I would roll my eyes into the back of my head and pretend like I passed out. I used to be a bank teller and that was my motive if anybody held me up."
Experts also suggest causing a distraction; throw something like a chair, laptop or food.
Setting off a fire alarm or sprinkler system can also buy extra time to escape.
If all else fails, negotiate.
Police said helping the gunman identify you as a person, not a faceless target could save your life when seconds count.