Friday, December 21, 2012

What to do in a shooter scenario

Chalk this up to the wonders of the internet. Someone I was trading comments with has this background:
"20 years U.S. Army Retired, Platoon Sergeant, Armored Reconnaissance, Firearms instructor, Sniper, 5 years as a Police Office, 5 years in Corrections, and 40 years in ballistic studies. I hunt, and use my own hand loaded ammunition, because I achieve better accuracy, and quicker kills because the loads are tailored to the animal I am hunting."
I asked him what to do if there's an active shooter in your building. Here is his advice, with a few edits.


[If you crawl under the table, you're going to die.] That is exactly what happens all too often when you have an active shooter. He walks among the victims and picks and chooses who will die by luck of the draw. Read the after-reports from mass shooting. The police will not arrive for 2 to 20 minutes. Then they will establish a command post, and after that they will decide if they are going to enter the building. All that while the active shooter is walking among his victims and killing, and only by the Grace of God will he miss some who are hiding.

The first thing that you do if you are not armed is get the hell out of the [area] in the opposite direction from the shooter. That means if you have to break out windows, break down doors, you do what ever is necessary to get out of the building. Only as a last resort do you hide, and then choose a sturdy closet or room that can be locked from the inside, and barricade the door with the heaviest furniture and storage cabinets available.

If you are armed, if possible get out. If you can't, find a protected position that offers you cover. The best is a bullet-proof barricade that limits the direction that the shooter can approach. Set your self, and when the shooter approaches, take aim and shoot for the center of the chest. Keep shooting till the shooter is down and the weapon is out of the shooter's hands. Then if the shooter is still alive, or even if he appears dead, keep him covered. If you have a cell phone, carefully try to contact the police. Tell them where you are, and a description of yourself, and prepare for them to arrive. As they approach, holster your weapon, and follow all orders given by the police. Then do not give a statement until you have a attorney present.  

Keep Your Miranda rights [all of them]. This is the one that is the most dangerous to you: ANYTHING YOU SAY OR DO MAY BE USED AGAINST YOU IN A COURT OF LAW. So even if you are totally justified in your self-defense, or defense of others, have a lawyer guide you through your statement with the police. It will save a lot of heartache and legal problems. You're going to be amped up and rattled as all get out, which is the exact type of mindset that makes misstatement an extreme likelihood. So maintain your Miranda rights to have an attorney present.


Thank you, Bob from Mosimee, for sharing your specialized knowledge.



Couves said...

MP - After an initial flippant comment, that guy came up with some really good advice. I mentioned on Plain Blog that one boy in CT survived because he was the only one in the class to disobey the teacher and instead do what his parents had taught him -- when being shot at, run the hell away! Faster is better!!

The advice about not talking to police doesn't just apply to deadly force situations... check out this viral video (almost an hour, but really good stuff):

You never need to justify the exercise of your rights -- they exist to protect the innocent.

ModeratePoli said...

@Couves, I saw that info you posted. Having recently been working in a school, I thought about the advice. For teachers, it may come down to following protocols vs. doing what this expert advises. That's a bad situation, because you're cooked if something goes wrong when you're not following protocol.

Maybe those protocols for teachers will now change based on this incident.

About the advice on not talking to the police, I wouldn't keep quiet is there was still danger. However, I'm not in a knowledgeable position to say it's OK in deadly force situations. Can you summarize why it's OK to talk then?

Couves said...

People smarter than me need to look at the protocols and training more closely. Many schools are also in need of basic security upgrades. For example, I know teachers that, as part of their lockdown drill, must bring their students across a hallway and into another room because their own classroom can’t even be locked.

The admonition to “never talk to police” isn’t supposed to apply to being a witness to or victim of a crime. As a witness to a crime, I would never hesitate to give information to police, particularly in an ongoing and dangerous incident. I’m not a lawyer, but those are my thoughts. I think the video touches on that, but not in great detail.

Couves said...

MP - I also thought you might appreciate this bit of news that hasn't caught any national attention. My apologies if you’ve already seen this -- The Clackamas mall gunman was stopped by a 22 year old man with a concealed handgun… who never had to fire a shot. Apparently, the gunman choose suicide once he noticed someone pointing a gun at his head.

ModeratePoli said...

@Couves, I think the recommendation not to talk to the police had more to do with having shot an assailant. That's quite different from being a witness.

I had seen the news about a shooter stopped at a mall. I'm planning a post on concealed carry. I've found plenty of evidence without going to individual cases. I won't say yet whether the evidence is mostly pro or con--that's a teaser. Thanks for the info.

Couves said...

MP - Yes, that's the point I'm trying to make. There's a big difference between testifying against yourself and testifying against someone else.