Prepare for Shooter in the Academic Setting October 2013

Run, Hide, Fight
December 18, 2012
September 19, 2013
Definition of an Active Shooter
• An active shooter is a person actively
engaged in killing and wounding people in a
populated building or area using a firearm
as a weapon
• The threat is not contained and there is an
immediate risk of injury or death
• Shooter may be suicidal
How Great is the Threat?
Incidents of this type invariably receive intense and
extended media coverage, giving them a very high
profile. However, despite the attention given to isolated
instances of extreme violence, the chances of this type
of incident occurring in educational facilities and houses
of worship is actually quite low, and the odds against
such an attack occurring in any particular location are
For example, according to the U.S. Secret Service and
U.S. Department of Education, the odds are one in 1
million that a student will die at school as a result of a
violent act.
The Challenge and Down-and-Dirty
• No Standard Profile of an Active Shooter
• Identifying the problem before it becomes violent.
– When in doubt, report:
• Immediate Threat or Concern – GTPD
• Student – Dean of Students
• Faculty/Staff – Office of Human Resources
• Shooting time period v. Police Response.
– <5 minutes – Shooting
– >5 minutes – Police into building
• Actions by those in the line of fire.
– Run
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– Hide
– Fight!
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Mentality of Active Shooter
• Desire is to kill and injure without concern for his safety or
threat of capture
• Normally has intended victims and will seek them out
• Accepts targets of opportunity while looking for or after
finding intended victims
• Will continue until stopped by law enforcement, suicide, or
other violent intervention
Three Main Categories of Mass
1. Family Annihilators
2. Set-and-Run or Hit-and-Run
3. Pseudocommandos
Key Findings of 154 Cases
1 of 5
Shooter after incident
– 43% committed suicide
– 8% shot and killed by responders
– 45% arrested
– 4% unidentified
Key Findings of 154 Cases
2 of 5
– 40% never clearly determined
– 21% workplace retaliation
– 14% domestic disputes
– 7% academic retaliation
Key Findings of 154 Cases
3 of 5
The Shooter
Workplace Environment
Academic Setting
Key Findings of 154 Cases
4 of 5
The Shooter – many described as:
• Social isolates, harbored feelings of
hate and anger, and/or had some
reported contact with mental health
• Mental illness is commonly referenced
as a potential contributing factor.
• Very few had previous arrests for
violent crimes.
Key Findings of 154 Cases
5 of 5
Common Catalysts or Triggers:
• Loss of significant relationships
• Changes in financial Status
• Loss of a Job
• Changes in living arrangements
• Major adverse changes to life
• Feeling of humiliation or reject on the
part of the shooter
The Shooter (in general)
• Desire is to kill and seriously injure without
concern for his safety or threat of capture
• Normally has intended victims and will search
them out
• Accepts targets of opportunity while searching
for or after finding intended victims
• Will continue to move throughout building/area
until stopped by law enforcement, suicide, or
other intervention
Indicators of Potential Violence: Students
• No one behavior fits all!
• Most are male
• Most were affiliated with the school and/or
students targeted
• Often, disciplinary, legal, or other action (i.e.,
being fired by an employer) had taken place
before the attack
• Forewarning, either through internet media or
through comments to other students, was
common before the attack.
Indicators of Potential Violence: Students
• The most distinctly repeated factor in the
case of most active shooters is a change in
• These changes trend toward withdrawal from
other students, work, and life in general.
• Increased substance use
• Mood swings
• Depression, hopelessness, isolation, rage, or
Indicators of Potential Violence: Students
Noticeable change in academic performance
Decrease in hygiene, personal appearance
Explosive, uncontrollable outbursts
Lack of emotion
Suicidal, speaking of “setting things right”
Loss of interest in previous activities
Empathy for or excessive interest in past violent
• Increased discussion of weapons, firearms,
violent acts, especially unsolicited
Precipitory Events
• Catalyst…final straw – with
underlying theme of loss of face,
humiliation, injured pride, shame.
• May be in the form of bullying
incident, loss of romantic
relationship, administrative or
disciplinary investigation.
Shooter Summary
• There is no single profile or stereotype of the assailants or their
motivations. The attackers varied substantially in personality,
social characteristics, background, age, home situation, mental
health history, prior encounters with law enforcement, and
other factors.
• Profiling on the basis of these factors, therefore, is not effective
for identifying those who may pose a risk for targeted violence.
It is much more productive to focus on behaviors and
communications—warning signs that someone might be
planning or preparing for an attack.
Warning Signs Are Common
• Most attackers engaged in some troubling behaviors prior to the
incident that caused concern or indicated a need for help. Such
behaviors included:
• Research, planning, and preparation (for example, researching
how to build a bomb, sketching maps and diagrams, trying to
obtain a gun).
• Suicidal threats and attempts.
• Difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures such
as death of a loved one, loss of status, job loss, divorce, or
academic failure.
• History of being bullied, threatened, harassed, or attacked by
• Inappropriate interest in accounts of mass violence, or violent
themes in movies, books, video games, or their own writings.
Attackers Make Plans
• Incidents of targeted violence are rarely impulsive. In
almost all incidents, the attacker developed the idea
to harm the target before the attack. In many cases,
the person formulated the idea for the attack at least
2 weeks in advance and planned out the incident.
• Targeted violence is typically the end result of an
understandable, often discernible, process of thinking
and behavior.
• Example—Virginia Tech: The student responsible
for killing at least 30 people at Virginia Tech
appeared to have planned his attack for weeks—
purchasing weapons, testing campus security, and
preparing documentation.
Attackers Talk About Their Plans
• Most attackers didn’t threaten their targets
directly before the attack. But prior to most
incidents, the attacker told someone—a
friend, schoolmate, sibling—and sometimes
many people, about the idea or plan before
taking action.
• In nearly every case of school attacks, the
person who was told was a peer and rarely
did anything to bring the information to an
adult’s attention. In fact, in many cases,
friends or fellow students actually encouraged
the attacker to act.
Attackers Often Have Easy Access to Weapons
• In past incidents, most attackers had used guns
previously and had access to guns. In nearly twothirds of school incidents, for example, the attackers
obtained the weapons from their own home or that
of a relative.
• Remember, however, that although guns have been
the weapon of choice in many incidents, it is unwise
to focus only on “active shooter” scenarios. Past
assailants have used guns, knives, improvised
explosive devices, fire, and other types of weapons,
and they have used firearms and explosives in
combination. Future attackers could very well expand
their methods to include weapons of terror not seen
in past incidents.
K-12 Schools vs. University Setting
Unlike most K-12 public schools, college and university
facilities and classrooms typically do not feature:
1. Two-way intercom systems in buildings and classrooms
2. A centralized administrative office
3. Visitor sign in areas or procedures
4. Access control technologies
Personal Emergency Planning
• Be aware of your environment and any possible
• Mentally rehearse how you would react in various
types of emergency situations
• Be familiar with two exits whenever you enter a
building or room
• Ask about building emergency action plans
• Program local and campus emergency numbers into
your cell phone
• Participate in campus emergency notification
Your Options in an Active Shooter Incident
• Run
• Hide
• Fight
Run (Escape)
• If it is safe to do so RUN!
• Drop and leave your personal
belongings (books, book bag,
• Exit the immediate area
• Proceed cautiously as there may
be more than one shooter
• Keep your hands visible and not
in your pockets
• Call 911 or your campus police
and provide as much information
as you can as soon as it is safe to
do so
Outdoor Areas/Hallways
• If you are located outside a building, seek cover
• Put something between you and the shooter
• If you are in a hallway, escape out the nearest exit if it is
safe to do so
• If any doubt exists, find a safe area and barricade the door
with any available items
Hide (Barricade)
Locate the nearest classroom/closet/office with a door
Lock or barricade the door with any available items
Block or cover windows to the hallway and close blinds
Turn off the room lights
Call 911 or campus public safety
Silence your cell phone and other electronics in the room
Place signs in exterior windows so responders will know
where you are located
• After securing the room, position people out of sight as
best as possible
• Look for possible window exits if you are on or near the
ground floor
• Fight back only as a last resort and
when your life is in imminent danger
• Organize others and formulate a plan
• Throw books, chairs, book bags, etc. at
the shooter
• Overpower the shooter and disarm him
• Commit to your actions
• Don’t be a victim!
Techniques that Could Save You!
The 2 to 3 second rush.
• This is for if you're really close to the shooter and
feel he's either shooting at you or will as you make
your move.
• Determine a route to safety that includes as much
cover and concealment on the way.
• Use it by sprinting in brief rushes that last 2 to 3
seconds at a time from one hiding place to the next.
The average marksman can only sight on a target
within 3 to 4 seconds.
• Try to stay low and dodge and weave if you
miscalculate the distance. It isn't perfect, but it is a
proven infantry technique.
Techniques that Could Save You!
Fighting back with an improvised weapon!
• Scissors!
• Attack the shooter’s vitals (eyes, nose,
throat, head, groin or solar plexus).
Pencil in deep into the eye socket works
particularly well.
• A backpack, briefcase or suitcase
stuffed with phone books can serve as
a small arms impromptu bullet proof
Techniques that Could Save You!
Fighting back with an improvised weapon!
• The center pole from a clothes rack,
stiletto or wedge heel, and leg from a
desk or chair can serve as an impact
• A belt can serve as a flexible weapon to
strike (belt buckle) or to strangle.
Techniques that Could Save You!
Fighting back with an improvised weapon!
• If trapped with multiple people, work
together to improve chances for
• Your goal is to get the shooter on the
ground and neutralized.
Once the Door is Breached!
Typically, when a person breaches a door he
will look straight ahead first.
• Those who are in direct line or across from the
shooter should move away from the team members
who are positioned next to the door, to distract the
• Team members who are positioned on the side of the
doors or at an ambush area should attack the
• One person forces the perpetrator’s weapon down
and to the side.
• Another person attacks the shooter’s lower body,
typically behind the knee taking him to the ground. AA
Once the Door is Breached!
• Do whatever necessary to neutralize the
• Other team members should secure
something to bound and gag the shooter
while awaiting law enforcement.
• The most well trained person should secure
the weapon and be prepared to help defend
• Move others into a position of cover away
from the initial line of fire and prepare to
Techniques that Could Save You!
Play Dead!
Assisting Other People
• Call 911 or campus law enforcement as soon as
• Attempt to calm others down and plan options
should the shooter enter your area
• Do not let others in the room if you do not feel it
is safe to do so or if you cannot identify/recognize
the person or official
• Attempts to rescue people should only be made if
it can be done without further endangering the
persons inside the secure area
• Assist injured people in secure areas with
available equipment and supplies (advise 911 of
injured persons)
What Information Should Be Reported to 911?
• Your Specific Location (Building, floor, room number)
• Number of people at your location, number of injuries and type of
• Suspect(s) Information:
-Location (if known)
-Number of shooters
-Name of shooter (if known)
-Overall description (physical/clothing)
-Type of weapons (rifle, shotgun or handgun)
Emergency lines will likely
-Backpack or other items
be busy so continue calling
to report the incident as you
-Other important information
may have critical
information first responders
may need.
How Will Law Enforcement Respond?
• Law enforcement will immediately respond to area and form a
team to enter the building
• Law enforcement’s goal is to locate, contain, & stop the
• Law enforcement will bypass injured people initially to locate
the shooter(s)
• Stay inside a secure room until instructed to exit
Your Response When Law Enforcement Arrives
Remain in place until instructed to move
Follow officers’ instructions
Do not have any items in your hands
Immediately raise your hands and do not
present a threat to the responding officers
• Avoid quick movements around the
officers, don’t try to hug or hold on to
• Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling
• Limit your questions to officers regarding
the suspect, others in the building or
other incident information
Quick Review
Have a plan
Take immediate action
Find a secure area or run
Calm, reassure, and quiet
• Call 911 or campus police
• Treat injured people if it is
safe to do so
• When in doubt, call GTPD
or report…
– Student/Dean of Students
– Employee/Human Resources
EP Certificate Program
The program consists of 5 required
classes and 2 electives. Classes are
offered throughout the year, but can
also be requested for departmental
and/or building specific locations,
including over a shorter time period.
Offered through OHR Learning and
Professional Development.
EP Certificate Program
Required Courses
1. Campus Fire Safety
2. Emergency Preparedness 101
3. Intro to the Incident Command System for Higher Ed
4. Plan, Prep, React -- Active Shooter Response Options
5. What Is In Your Building: Hazards Awareness
Elective Courses (pick 2)
Awareness for Initial Response to Hazardous Materials Incidents
Bomb Threat Management
Chematix - Chemical Management
Continuity of Operations Planning
CPR/AED/First Aid
Crime Prevention 101
Drill It! Planning and Conducting an Emergency Exercise in Your Area
Safety Abroad
See Something, Say Something
Weather Hazards and Precautions
Additional Resource Information
• GT Emergency Procedures and Action Plan
• Sign up for GTENS!
• Regular Refresher Courses & Videos
– Active Shooter – What You Can Do
– Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents: A Guide for Schools,
Higher Education, and Houses of Worship
– Active Shooter Situation: Options for Consideration (Video):
– Workplace Security Awareness
– IED Threat Awareness and Detection (
• GT-Campus Emergency Response Team
Are You Ready?
The Georgia Tech Office of Emergency Preparedness encourages you to stay informed.
Scan for App
Questions & Discussion
Trust Your
See Something,
Say Something
Do Something!
Catherine Hubbard, 6

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