Of the five victims killed at a party at an Airbnb home on Halloween night last week in the San Francisco suburb of Orinda, one was the DJ, Omar Taylor.
The 24-year-old was behind the console when bullets were fired into the crowd at what was billed as the Halloween Mansion Party. The killer is still at large.
“He loved doing music and he literally died doing what he loves to do,” his girlfriend Surina Grewal told local news station KTVU, adding that only two weeks ago Taylor said he was going to be safe about what kind of gigs he took.
DJ Rachel Lynch from Hartford is a corporate security trainer when she’s not spinning, and has quite a bit to say about DJ safety to reduce your risk in a shooting situation. “It boils down to situational awareness,” she said, “and accepting that these tragedies can literally happen any where at any time.”
Such incomprehensible violence occurs too often, of course, but no professional is more vulnerable than a DJ. “DJs are at an additional disadvantage simply because they are completely distracted and immersed in the task at hand — headphones blaring and narrowed vision at our computers,” she said.
It’s impossible to predict when these incidents might occur, but Rachel says DJs can adopt these 5 tips:
1. Stay sober.
2. Being able to hear what’s going on is one of the most important factors in response to critical incident situations. Keep one ear always open to the external environment.
3. Train assistants to people-watch and identify abnormal behavior, sounds or situations.
4. Be aware of all your exits in every location. Visualize your escape route if needed and plan out areas to hide and conceal if you can’t get out.
5. Plan ahead to see if you can effectively barricade a room. What could you move? What could you use to stop a door from opening (power cords work well). Think of things available to counter a violent attacker if you can’t get out — fire extinguishers, improvised weapons.
Who knows if these tips would have saved Omar Taylor. In short, be willing to participate in your own survival.
To check out more DJ tips, click here.
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