Military bases, government facilities, schools, universities, malls, movies, job sites are all places where active shooter incidents can and do occur. I know we tend to think of these places as safe and secure but they all fall under the category of “soft targets” for a reason. A soft target is a military term referring to unarmored or undefended targets intended to be destroyed. In order to survive you must be prepared!
When you think about mass shooting incidents they occur at all these places.
A few examples:
1) The mass shooting in 2007 at Westroads mall in Omaha, Nebraska that killed nine.
2) The Virginia tech massacre in 2007 that killed thirty two dead.
3) The 1999 Columbine High School shooting that killed fifteen.
4) The slaughter in Norway of sixty nine innocent people at a youth camp, by a man wearing a police uniform.
Law enforcement officials refer to these as “active shooter” incidents.
In studying such incidents over the years one of the things that pop out to me is response times. On average it takes cops, after first receiving the high priority 911 call around 10, 20, 30 minutes to get on scene.
In smaller municipalities it could take longer, because officers are assigned to different departments it can take upward to 45 minutes in some cases.
Also in 99.9% of cases these active shooter incidents are responded to first by regular patrol officers before SWAT can arrive on scene. SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics.
This basically leave it up to you as a common citizen to get yourself out alive – if you can!
You can increase your chances of survival by being aware of the following:
1) Situational Awareness going in. Where are your exits? Think of at least three exits in three different directions at any one time.
2) Observe cover. Where is the nearest cover, such as large concrete planters, pillars, and sculptures.
3) Be aware of people around you. Particularly those who seem overly nervous, or who are dressed in trench coats when its 90 degrees outside, or who wear combat boots and carry large duffle bags or backpacks.
Once the shooting begins!
1) You must remove yourself from the immediate vicinity as quickly as possible. Its essential to get out of the line of fire. Get clear of the “kill zone.”
If you can survive the first ten to twenty seconds of this type of ambush your chances of survival increases rather dramatically.
Hitting the ground and lying flat is typically what most people do instinctively. Resist that urge – you must begin moving as soon as possible, as quickly as possible. If bullets are flying dive for cover behind an object!
2) Movement techniques – high crawl, low crawl.
A) Low crawl – low crawl methods involve pushing with your feet and pulling with your fingers while remaining as low to the ground as possible.
B) High crawl- involves lifting your belly and moving across the ground using your knees and elbows.
3) Know the difference between cover and concealment.
A) Cover is something that will stop bullets, such as concrete planters, pillars, columns.
B) Concealment – is something that hides you from line of site, like a rack of cloths or book display. This won’t necessarily shield you from bullets.
The most common weapons used in an active shooter incident are:
1) The AK-47 which uses a 7.62 x 39 millimeter round.
2) A shotgun, which uses a twelve guage with 00 buckshot round.
3) A 9 Millimeter handgun that uses as its name implies a 9 millimeter round.
Bricks, concrete will prevent or stop such rounds from penetrating. But dry wall of a house, apartment or office will not!
If you take cover outside, in a parking lot for example the aluminum body of a vehicle won’t work. Try to position yourself behind the wheels of the front end of the car being the ideal location because of the engine block.
Move quickly across any danger areas or open spaces, like hallways or junctions between buildings. Remember to stay low and haul ass!
See video: Run, Hide, Fight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4IJA5Zpzz4
When moving along buildings, stay about a foot from the walls. Remember bullets tend to ricochet down the wall within approximately 6 inches.
Use the rule of three:
1) Head for the nearest exit.
2) Run to the highest level and attempt rescue from the roof, fire escape or window if you have to.
3) In a last ditch effort, set an ambush, try like hell to recover a weapon and shoot your way out!
Note: If you manage to subdue a shooter who has a walkie talkie – remember to jam or hot mike that sucker! To jam a walkie talkie, press and hold down the transmit button. On most radios or walkie talkies will not allow anyone else to transmit when you hold down the transmit button. This will interfere and disrupt terrorist communication.
One last note. Call 911 if you can, give police as much information called human intelligence as possible. Where you are? What’s happening? How many shooters are involved? The gunmen’s physical descriptions and types of weapons and special gear, such as body armor for example. Describe shooter’s ethnicity, language, tactics, etc.
Encountering law enforcement
If you manage to do everything right and escape the kill zone and get outside, you may run smack dab into law enforcement, specifically SWAT members armed to the teeth. Its perhaps the last hurtle before you can be truly safe from an active shooter incident.
Remain calm. The danger is the cops may mistake you as a shooter.
1) You must empty your hands. Put all weapons to the ground – step back and raise your hands high above your head, palm facing out.
2) Do exactly as you are told so the cops can determine your not a shooter threat.
3) Yell, “I am unarmed!”
Afterward congratulate yourself – you made it out alive!
See video: Active Shooter incident. practical advice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XW3GMqubcs
See video: School shootings Don’t Be a Victim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zBuFQMv-Go