Just a couple of days separated the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport and the scare at Garden State Plaza in Paramus that resulted in the gunman's suicide.

Law enforcement officials gather outside of Garden State Plaza Mall (Kena Betancur, Getty Images)

The stories have been popping up on what seems to be a weekly basis - someone opening fire in a public place, causing hundreds of others to run for their lives.

"It's unfortunate, but most of us do have to live in fear," said Nicholas Irons, professor of criminal justice at the County College of Morris. "You never know where it's going to happen…It's constantly around us."

During the initial hours after shots were reported at the mall Monday night, officials touted the building's security system as "top of the line," but Irons pointed out these systems usually come into play after the damage is done. Nothing stopped 20-year-old Richard Shoop from roaming the halls with a firearm and pulling the trigger. Luckily, he didn't injure any customers or employees, but he took his own life.

"I think that people need to be aware of their surroundings," Irons added.

If you ever hear gunshots in a public place, you're advised to get down and stay low to the ground. Don't run away from the shots; if it's a well-planned attack, another shooter could be waiting for the panicked crowd.