EDISON - A recent incident involving an active shooter at the Garden State Plaza shopping mall has many New Jersey residents wondering how best to respond to a situation like that if they ever found themselves facing the same situation.

Jose Medina, of Awareness Protective Consultants, trains police to deal with situations like that of the mall shooting. He has told police what to do, but News 12 New Jersey asked what civilians should do.

"People should try to find the quickest store they can get to and find an exit route," Medina says.

Anyone near a door should simply exit as quick as possible. Many stores have access to loading docks in the back.

But Medina says once in a safe location, anyone who was close to an event and can give police information should do so.

If you're close to a shooter, action might be needed to get away, Medina says. "Grab a contact weapon, throw it at the shooter, distract him and get out of the way."

Safety should be the priority and mindset no matter what you do.

Medina says the most important thing you can do to avoid being a victim is to be aware.