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Rapid Deployment

as a response to an

Active Shooter

Illinois State Police

Table of Contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

The T actic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

The Inc idents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

The Findings & Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

The Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

The Recommend ations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Rapid Deployment in a post 9-11 Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

The Experts’ Opinions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Synopsis o f Incidents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


In less than 33 years, the U.S. law enforcement hostage incidents are infrequent. So, many SWAT
commu nity has experienced two watershe d events teams trained heavily but rarely deployed.
which shaped our respo nse to incidents involving an Administrators looking for w ays to justify their
active shooter. The first rude awakening was investment in these units realized that the entry team
perpetrated by Charles Whitman from the clock tower component of SWA T units was perfectly suited to
at the Univ ersity of Texas at Austin. In a sniper conduct high-risk raids for the service of arrest or
incident lasting 90 minutes, Whitman killed 15 and search warrants. Many SWAT teams now spend as
wounded 31 victims. Whitman's training in the U.S. much as 80 per cent of their time conducti ng pre-
Marine Corps apparently prepared him well for dealing planned raids, not eme rgency response missions.
with targets as distant as 500 yards from his perch on
the 30th floor obse rvation dec k. What does this brief history of SWAT have to do with
a study of Rapid Deployment - Immediate Action
Many regard this incid ent as the impetus of d ramatic tactics for patrol officers? More than 32 years after
change in police training and response. Some agencies Charles Whitma n's rampage , two teenage rs in Colorado
issued long-range rifles and trained their officers in the logged a similar death and injury toll at another school
role of counter-sn iper, while other agencies formed ... this time a high scho ol.
more comprehensive para-military teams with even
greater capabilities. The genesis of what would become Within 13 minutes of the first police call to the April
Special Weapons and Tactics teams (SWAT) 20, 1999 inc ident at Colu mbine H igh Schoo l, Dylan
undoub tedly began at 1 1:48 a.m . on August 1 , 1966 in Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 and wounded 24.
the form of Charles Whitman's murderous spree. Unlike Whitman's sniper incident, the Columbine event
Notably, Whitman was finally stopped that day by two was planned around explosives. Klebo ld and H arris
police office rs and an arm ed citizen wh o teamed up to had set a large impro vised bom b in the schoo l cafeteria
attack his sniper perch and kill him. with a timer set to go off when the lunch crow d would
provide nearly 500 victims. The killers planned to
The evolution of SWAT teams in U.S. police agencies shoot any fleeing students from positions they w ould
followed a rather hopscotch pattern around the nation. take up in the parking lot. Only when their bomb failed
Most large cities had very well equipped and trained to detonate did Klebold and Harris enter the scho ol to
teams, while some suburban and rural areas basically kill who they co uld with firearm s.
ignored the conce pt or deve loped m utual-aid
agreements with neighboring tea ms. Outside of major In researching the Whit man shooting in A ustin, little
metropo litan areas, few age ncies expe cted incide nts criticism of the police response could be found.
requiring a SWAT -type response. Another important Anyone who left cover within Whitman's field of fire
consid eration is the fact that SWAT teams are was shot down. Indeed, one police officer was among
expensive and time consuming. the dead that day in Austin. No one on that day had
heard of S WAT , a concep t which came later.
Most agencies developed policies setting clear
guidelines for the activation of a SWAT team. Patrol At the Columbine incident, however, the police were
officers in these agencies were gener ally trained to wait loudly criticized. Even other police agencies have
for SWAT when an incident justified deployment of the joined in the condemnation of the police response to the
special team. Patro l officers were ex pected to attack perpetrated by Klebold and Harris. At
"Contain, Isolate and Negotiate” until SWAT arrived. Columbine, numerous SWAT units deployed as quick ly
as possible an d made e ntry into the school within 45
During this same time, the primary mission of most minutes of the first call. In fact, the shooters committed
SWAT teams was evolving. Originally, most SWAT suicide at about the same time the first SWAT team was
teams were structured for scenarios involving snipers entering the o ther side of the m assive schoo l.
(or other barricaded gunmen) and hostag e incidents. In
actuality, active shooters, barricaded gunmen and

The current movement to train patrol officers to risk to the responding officers and the possibility that
respond using Rapid D eploymen t tactics began in these tactics could a ctually make some situations worse.
earnest in the aftermath of the Columbine shooting.
Response strategies like Rapid Deployment have been The concern m any express for the use of Ra pid
around for a while in several forms, but emotions Deployment falls into the theory...“a little bit of
surrounding the Colu mbine incident caused many knowledge is dangerous.” One SWAT team
officers to insist they would “never again wait for commander in Illinois put it this way: “In SWAT,
SWAT ” at the scene of an active shooter. making an entry is always our last option, for w hen all
other methods of resolution have failed ... but, with
Like so many things in the law enforce ment com munity, Rapid Deployment, we’re telling minimally trained
we have come full circle; from Rapid D eploymen t - patrol officer s to use SWA T’s last option as the ir first
through the evolution of SW AT - bac k to Rapid option. I wonder if we ’ve really thought this thing
Deployment in just over 32 years. The resolution of the through?”
Texas Tower incident was a Rapid D eploymen t,
unorganized as it was, by those police officers and the It is quite easy for two police officers to pencil out a
armed citize n. scenario where Rapid Deployment tactics are the
obvious answer. In looking at 44 active shooter
Our research into these incid ents has uncovered other incidents from the real world, the practicality of R apid
instances where an im mediate, unorganized response by Deploym ent is not so clea r cut.
arriving police officers probably saved lives. There is
no question: R apid De ployment tac tics can save live s in Our mission in this research was to first identify any
some circumstances. However, the driving force patterns inherent in active shooting incidents, if indeed
behind this research project is the understanding that any such patterns exist. By better understanding how
Rapid Deploym ent tactics carry w ith them a substantial these events unfold , we hoped to determine when and
where Ra pid Dep loyment is app ropriate.

The Tactic

What is Rapid Deployment? Rapid Deployment is a simply too great. For situations where immediate action
response strategy utilizing a small team of patrol is not deemed appropriate, the Rapid Deployment
officers to assault and neutralize an active criminal team(s) would be used as an inner perimeter to control
shooter. The theory behind Rapid Deployment is; we the suspect’s movement while a fully trained S W AT
can’t afford to wait for the arrival of a SWAT unit when team is assembled.
a killer is actively shooting victims. The Columbine
school shooting is the example most often pointed to by Most agencies set a minimum size for the Contact Team
Rapid Deployment proponents. Detractors feel the use at four officers, tho ugh some will send in a team with
of Rapid Deployment tactics at Columbine would have only two officers. Most agencies dictate the use of long
done no good and possibly made the situation even guns for the Con tact T eam, while others will utilize
worse. only the officers’ sidearms. Some departments issue
ballistic shields and Kevlar © helmets to their patrol
There are several variations of this technique, but most officers for use during a rapid de ployment. A few
are quite similar. The names given to this technique agencies require one or more members of their SWAT
include: Rapid D eploymen t, Immediate Action, H all team to be on-duty around the clock. These SW AT-
Boss training, Active Shooter Response, Violent trained officers will assess an active shooter situation
Intruder - Police and Educators Response (VIPER) and and lead the Rapid Deployment team when they
Quick Action Deployment (QUAD). We’ve determine the tactic is appropriate.
undoub tedly missed a few acronyms for this technique,
but for the sake of simp licity, we’ll call it Rapid Even the training fo r this technique v aries widely.
Deploym ent. Many agencies set up elaborate training exercises for
patrol officers using live role-players as suspects and
W ith Rapid Deploym ent, a team of patrol officers, victims. Combined with a stressful setting and the use
preferably armed with shotguns or carbines, will enter of specialized training weap onry (like Simunitions©),
the “Kill Zone” and mov e rapidly to make contact with these sessions can b uild the requisite skills for this high-
the shooter. Standard SWAT entry tactics, such as the risk course of action. However, some locales have
systematic clearing of all rooms, a re not used during mandated Rapid Deployment training, but deliver it in
Rapid Deploym ent. The contact team’s job is to move a short classro om-only form at.
rapidly through an area to find and neutralize the active e ssentially run to the so und of gunfire . No matter how agencies train initially, the question of
continuity of training for these perishable skills remains
Depend ing upon the circumstances, the contact team unresolved. If this tactic is to be maintained long-term,
may bypass downed victims and proceed past obvious it must be a part of an agency’s in-service refresher
hazards, such as explosive devices. Two types of teams program.
are generally developed. T he first is the Contact Team
whose mission is to find a nd neutralize the active Clearly, many agencies ad opted R apid Deployment as
shooter. Following the contact team will be one or an emoti onal response to the Columbine incident and
more Rescue Teams who will deal with any victims have not fully developed their policies for use of the
bypassed by the contact team. technique or the circum stances for wh ich it is
appropriate. The mo st importa nt aspect of this policy
Most agencies training Rapid Deployment develop a development may be the supervisory decision making
companion policy in their Standard Operating process for approving the entry of a Rapid Deployment
Procedures outlining the criteria for response and the team.
type of incidents appropriate for its use. As an
example, most agenc ies specify that Rapid Deployment
is not appro priate for eve nts involv ing a gunman that
has barricade d in a fixed loc ation or is known to be
holdin g hostages. Commanders theorize that in such
circumstances, the risk to patrol officers and h ostages is

The Incidents

History teaches us not to make a major change in police Though these incidents are quite rare, they can be very
practice based on a single incident, no matter how deadly for those involved. In the 44 incidents we
dramatic the incident. Instead, we should base our debriefed, 152 people were killed and 214 were
changes on a demonstrated pattern of criminal activity. wounded. These numbers average out to 3.5 killed and
W e began by o utlining the catastrophic University of 4.8 wounded per incident. Truly, these are serious
Texas and Colu mbine H igh Schoo l incidents , but we events.
must remember that they were separated by nearly 33
years. For compar ison purpo ses, we also analyzed a 45 th
incident where the Los Angeles (California) Police
How frequently do U.S. police agencies face such Department used Rapid Deployment tactics in an
overwhelming firefights? Are we justified in spending attempt to rescue a downed officer from a location
precious time and money in preparin g for the unlikely controlled by a barricaded gunman. This incident was
event that our jurisdiction will ever face such a threat? included in our discussion for two reasons. First,
On the other hand, we train extensively with firearms LAPD officers use this incident as an example in a
even though we know very few police officers will ever Rapid Deployment training program they have
fire a single shot in the line of duty during their career. delivered across the co untry. Secondly, the incident in
Training for an event w e may never face is clear ly question points out ho w Rapid Deployment tactics can
justified if the potential consequences are seriou s. actually make a bad incident worse, when used in the
wrong situation.
By searching various sources, we were able to iden tify
nearly 80 active shooter incidents in the United States After these inciden ts were deb riefed and a nalyzed, a
dating back to the 1966 incident in Austin, Texas. As summit was held to gather input from a number of
we tried to debrief these incidents, many proved to not experts with extensive expe rience in resp onding to
fit within our parameters of an active shooter and some critical incidents. This report is a compilation of the
were simply too old to allow us to obtain worthwhile discussions and reco mmend ations gener ated during this
information . meeting held in November of 2001. Each of the experts
helped edit this final docu ment and c ontribute their
Ultimately, we obtained detailed information about the personal opinions at the end.
police response to 44 incidents. Undoubtedly, a
number of incidents went undiscovered, but the number
of active shooter incidents in an average year from 1966
through 20 01 could easily be cou nted on o ne hand.

The Findings and Patterns

W e always seem to have a compulsion to define the Respond er Casualties:

“average” of any series of events being measured. The Responders were killed or injured in four of the 44
following average active shooter incident is based on incidents.
our analysis o f 44 events.
A police officer was wound ed in an exchange of gunfire
A single, white male shooter, age d 30, will enter a well at the end of a p ursuit of a suspect who killed four and
populated location and open fire without warning. This wounded six firefighters in a wo rkplace sho oting in
shootin g spree will probably be over in two to three Jackson, Mississippi in 1996.
minutes, usually long befor e even a single police officer
can arrive. The suspect will almost certain ly be familiar A New Hampshire Troo per was killed and a second
with the locale and will initially target specific people, Trooper was wounded during a traffic stop/ambush at
but is very likely to fire rando mly before h e stops. Th is the onset of a five hour shooting spree near Colebrook,
shooter will probably be armed with more than one New Hampshire in 1997. In a subsequent ambush set
firearm and will fire about 25 rounds, killing th ree to by the rifle-armed suspect, four additional officers were
four victims and wounding an additional five people. wounded before the suspect was killed.
After the shooting spree, the suspect is likely to end up
dead, probab ly by comm itting suicide. The incid ent is A police officer was wounded in a 500 round shootout
almost guaranteed to take place during daylight hours following the pursuit of an active shooting suspect from
and will probably occur inside a building. a Cal-Trans maintenance yard near Ora nge, Californ ia
in 1997.
Surprisingly, many of the incidents we debriefed closely
fit the average we have outlined above. Incidents like A security guard was killed and two police officers
the Texas tower and Columbine are truly exceptional were wounded by a man who had entered the library of
and far outside the norm. the Salt Lake City Latter Day Saints church and opened
fire in 1999. This 70 ye ar old man was ultimately killed
Victims: by police.
As mentioned before, these incidents resulte d in 152
deaths and 214 people wounded . The largest death to ll, Response Strategy:
23, was at the Luby’s Restaurant shooting in Killeen, A true Rapid Deployment response, by an agency which
Texas in 1991 and the largest number of wounded, 25, had previously trained in this tactic, was only u sed in
was at the Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon three of the 44 active shooter incidents we debriefed.
in 1998. In two of the Rapid Deployment responses, the use of
these tactics affected the outcome of the incident in a
Suspects: positive way. In the remaining Rapid Deployment use,
Only two incidents involved multiple shooters, with a the incident was over before the team was ab le to make
maximum of two suspe cts in any single incident. Of the entry into the scho ol.
46 shooters, only two were females. The age range of
shooters ran from 11 to 70. Tw enty of the suspec ts died In the opinion of the writer, Rapid Deployment either
at the scene; four were killed by police and 16 did or might have resulted in a positive effect on the
committed suicide. outcome of the incident in 11 of the 44 incidents (25
percent). In the incidents where Rapid Deployment
Shots Fired: would have made no difference in the ultimate outcome,
Suspects in these 44 incidents fired from one to 188 there was no longer an active shooter to engage by the
shots. The 188 shot incident was Columbine High time a team could have made entry into the location. In
School. Police fired during nine of these incidents, three of these incidents the shooter had already
rangin g from two to more than 500 shots. More than barricaded himself, with hostages, in a fixed location.
500 shots were fired by seven police officers in an
incident that started at a Cal-Trans maintenance yard Environment of Incident:
near Orange, California. The majority of the incidents in our study oc curred at a

school or workplace. Over 95 percent of these Weap ons:
incidents took place during daylight hours. About two- More than one-half of the incidents involved su spects
thirds of the incidents took place within a b uilding. The armed with one or m ore hand guns. Near ly one-fourth
other one-third of the incidents involved some shooting of the suspects used both handguns and long guns
in an outdo or environ ment. (rifles and/or shotguns). Four of these incidents (nine
percent) involved the use of impro vised explo sive

The Conclusions

There were four general categories o f response stop the killing. In five of the incidents, the suspect was
identified in these 44 incidents: forcibly detained by citizens at the shooting site (often
at great risk to themselves). In two of these incidents,
• Immedia te - unorganized response by the suspect was taken into custody by on-scene police
personnel on the scene when the incident officers (both at a school).
began (police, security or citizens).
The need for im mediate ac tion by whomever is there
• Immedia te - unorganized response by when the incident begins was born out by the actions of
arriving police officers. passengers on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001 and
subsequent flights where dangerous activity has been
• Immedia te - organized response by encountered. These events happen in seconds and,
a r r i v in g p o l i c e o ff i c e r s ( R a p id unless they are quick ly ended b y someon e already on
Deployment). scene, the criminals will likely kill until they choose to
stop. The police simply cannot be everywhere violence
• Arriving police officers contained the may occur and are un likely to arrive before the violence
incident and waited for the arriv al of ends.
SWA T assets.
A parallel example of on-scene personnel minimizing
Except in the rarest of incidents, like the shootings at death and destruction has been seen recently in Isra el.
the University of Texas and Colum bine High School, Terrorist shooting and bombing attacks have taken a
only the most imme diate respo nse will have a chan ce to huge toll in Israel, but some events have surprisingly
reduce the number of innocent victims likely to be low death tallies when you consider the weaponry
killed or injured b y an active sho oter. Even a rapid brought to the scene by the terrorists. The low body
response by a team of officers using R apid Deployment count is generally attribute d to the terrorist being shot
tactics will likely find the incident over by the time they by military or police p ersonnel. Other reports suggest
enter the shoo ting area. many of these terrorists are being sh ot by armed Israeli
citizens who happened to be on the scene or arrived
Immedia te action taken by personne l who are on -site before military or police units.
when the sho oting starts is the mo st effective way to

The Recommendations
Based on our analysis of 44 high profile, active • The training must be refreshed on a
shooting incidents, some general recommendations periodic basis (at least annually) and
were developed by our panel of experts. should involve all jurisdictions who might
respond to a given location.
• Effective command and control mus t
begin immediately at the onset of the • The incident commander must consider a
incident and must take place independent “response in depth,” an d contem plate
of the use of Rapid Deployment tactics. delaying the insertion of a contact team
The on-scene commander must not until a backup team can be asse mbled, in
become personally involved in the the most threatening incidents.
response. The incid ent comm ander mu st,
instead, conduct a n initial problem • A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
assessment, coordina te the arriving must be develo ped to cover the use of
resources, and ensure commun ication is Rapid Deploym ent and th e overall
established between all responding units. management of the incident. This SOP
should include the minimum requirements
• The single greatest problem facing the for manpower, equipment and training for
on-scene commander will be the the use of Rapid Deployment teams. The
threat/risk assessment (intelligence SOP should also address complicating
gathering). Analysis of the incidents issues, such as: explosive devices;
suggests the following problems can be ambush survival; and p rocedur es to
e x p e c t e d : co n fu s in g in fo rma tio n follow in the event a team takes
describing multiple location s and multiple casualties.
suspects, a breakdown in nearly all forms
of technological and inter-personal • Agencies should pre-plan high-risk
communication, being inundated by locations. These plans should include
fleeing inhabitants and rapid ly arriving floor plans, initial perimeter points and
resources and unfam iliarity with the command post and resource staging
incident site. locations.

• All officers should have access to single- Based upon this analysis, we recommend police
projectile shoulder-f ired weapons, agencies develop procedures for three levels of
preferably a carbine chambered for a response to active shooter incidents. Ou r experts have
cartridge capable of penetrating soft body drawn up recom mendatio ns for specific tra ining and
armor. Such weapons w ill greatly equipment needs for each of these response strategies,
increase the effectiveness of contact and which will be o utlined in deta il.
rescue teams, as well as allowing some
incidents to be terminate d quickly by the The first level of response would be an Instant
first arriving officers. Response by personnel who are on-scene when the
shooting starts. This would include police officers
• The training provided by an age ncy must regularly assigned to patrol schools, business or public
include force-on-force sessions in which areas where large numbers of people congregate. In
officers move as a team, encountering some instances, this could include a n immedia te
high-stress complications and liv e response by the first arriving patrol officer.
adversaries. The training must include
tactics for team movement in both indoor The second level of response would be a structured and
and outdoor se ttings. coordinated response by team(s) of arriving officers -
Rapid Deployment. To be most effective, these teams
need to be better equipped and more fully trained than
the level at which most agencies currently operate. The

on-scene commander must have already assumed officers. In some situations, the SWA T eleme nts would
command and cond ucted a pre liminary “threat/risk be the second wave to enter a shooting location. Upon
assessment.” The on-scene comman der must also arrival of the SWAT entry team, the Rapid Deployment
begin to establish an inner perimeter prior to giving team(s) would switch from the ro le of “Pathfind er” to
authorization for entry of any “contact” team s. rescue team, working behind the SWAT element s.
However, some shooting situations may require Rapid
The third level o f response would be a Traditional Deployment teams to me rely provide c ontainmen t until
SWAT Response of highly-trained and fully-equipped SWAT assets arrive on-scene.

Instant Response:

This response strategy appears to have the best chance penetrate ligh t intervening co ver, like soft body armor.
for successfully stopping an active shooter. However, Positioning such equipment in a secure loc ation at a
this type of respo nse also carr ies with it the highest school or other sensitive facility will require some
degree of risk to the officer. In the case of a school imagination. These officers must also have the ab ility
shooting, this response would be handle d by a School to comm unicate with arriv ing police re sources.
Resource Officer (SRO) or possibly a D.A.R .E.©
Officer who might be on-site when the shooting starts. Officers likely to make an “instant response” must take
In jurisdictions where manpower limitations are severe, part in high-stress training scenarios on a regular basis.
a single patrol officer might be duty bound to seek out These are the officers who will have the be st chance to
and engage the active shooter without assistance. In the “run to the sound of the guns” and thereby save
private sector, properly se lected and trained secu rity innocent lives ... but at extrem e risk. In the event these
officers can prov ide instant resp onse to an a ctive officers are unable to neutralize the active shooter, they
shooter. will serve as a “pathfinder” for arriving resources. The
instant respond er must link up with a Rapid
In the past, we have not necessarily chosen an SRO or Deployment or SWAT team and prov ide their intimate
DARE officer based upon their ability as a “warrio r.” knowledge of the surroundings. The training provided
Whil e is it still highly unlikely any particular SRO or to these officers must address the following issues:
DARE officer will need to confront an active shooter,
we must now factor that possibility into our selection • individual movement and danger areas
process. (hallways, corners, rooms, stairs, etc.);

Clearly, all officers assigned to re gularly patrol a high- • when to use covert, as o pposed to overt,
risk location must be armed with at least a duty-grade movem ent;
sidearm, a flashlight and clearly recognizable police
identification. Though the circumstances may require • intelligence gathering/reporting and risk
these officers to respond to an active shooter with the assessment;
equipment they have on their person, we should
consider w ays to make a dditional eq uipment av ailable • communications with arriving resources;
to them. Protective gear, like a ballistic helmet and and,
tactical vest will enhance the ir survivability. A single-
projectile shoulder-fired weapon will allow these • f o r c e - o n - fo r c e scenarios usin g
officers to deliver much more precise deadly force and simunition© type weapons.

Rapid Deploym ent:

This response strategy is a viable alternative to waiting to an inciden t.

for a fully-trained SWAT team, in some circumstances.
In the opinion of ou r panel of ex perts, few Ra pid The training must addre ss the following issues:
D eployment training progra ms are ade quate .
Additiona lly, some situatio ns are beyond the • team command and comm unication;
capabilities of a Rapid Deployment response. While a
policy may outlin e “safety stops” to help determine • intelligence gathering/reporting and risk
when we should wait for SWAT, we know from vehicle assessment;
pursuits there will be some hard charging officers who
may exceed the bounds of prudence. • team movement indoors (diamond, wedge
or “T” formations, etc.);
In a perfect world, every police officer would be trained
in Rapid De ployment tac tics and wou ld be men tally • team movement outdoors (bounding
prepared to succeed . Realistically, some officers are overwatch, etc.);
not physically or m entally equipped for specialty teams,
like SWAT. Likewise, some of our officers may not be • improvised explosive devices (find
approp riate for assignment to a Rapid Deployment another way? ... step over and proceed?);
team. In fact, some officers want no part of this type of
police response. Forcing such officers to train for and • dealing with downed victims;
respond with Rapid Deployment tactics is probably not
a good idea. W e can assign re luctant officers to • lifting and rescue techniques;
perimeter points and other less dangerous assignments,
but most agencies are already hard pressed to assemble • evacuation and control of innocents; and,
sufficient manpower for an effective Rapid Deployment
response. If an agency chooses not to train a ll its • “failure drills,” in the event a team takes
officers for Rapid Deployment, they should devise a casualties without neutralizing the active
system for quickly ide ntifying those tr ained. Some shooter(s).
agencies are issuing a special pin or patch to denote a
Rapid Deployment trained officer. Based upon an on-scene problem assessment, the
incident commander may put seve ral “safety stops” in
A Rapid Dep loyment response team should have acc ess effect. If one of these “s tops” is enco untered, the R apid
to single-proje ctile shoulder -fired weapons equipped Deployment team must stop hunting the active shooters
with a practical sling . Weap on-moun ted light sources and shift to a static mode and maintain a tight inner
are highly recom mended . Protective gear, like ballistic perimeter. The team ’s goals in a static m ode are to
helmets and bullet-resistant shields will enhance an limit the movement of the suspect(s), keep innoc ents
officer’s survivability. The team should hav e a well from wandering into the kill zone and relay information
equipped “traum a” kit and simple breaching to ols. to the incident commander and arriving SWAT assets.

No officers without a uniform or b old “Police” garment

should ever enter the Kill Zone or man the inner
perimeter. Traffic safety ve sts can easily fulfill this
requirement for plainclothes o fficers.

Initial Rapid Deployment training should consist of not

less than eight hours of instruction, with at least 75
percent of that being practical training under high-stress
conditions. The initial training should include
minimum performance standards, with tests. The
training must follow the established SOP, w hich should
be coordinated with other agencies that might respond

A Rapid D eploymen t team should shift to an inner • hostages being held in a fixed location or
perimeter mode if there is probable cause to believe one being used as human shields;
or more o f the following co nditions exist:
• suspect is communicating dem ands;
• multiple active shooters; and/or,

• boob y trap s or other ambush • the incident involves the release of

preparations; hazardous materials (H azMat) or the use
or threat of a Weap on of Mass
• active shooter(s) barricaded in a Destruction (WMD - biological, nuclear,
defensible location; incendiary, chemical or lar ge-scale
explosive weapon).

Traditional SWAT Response:

Some agencies ha ve chosen to concen trate on Ra pid agencies train their Rapid Deployment teams to deal
Deployment tactics to the exclusion of traditional with taking casu alties. Wha t is the rate of “acceptab le
SWA T respo nse tactics. Our pan el of experts c ame to loss” for Rapid Deploym ent teams? W hat if multiple
realize two important aspects of an active shooter shooters have laid an ambush for the first Rapid
incident which point to the need to maintain SWAT Deployment team or have positioned explosive devices
assets. along likely response routes?

First, few incidents in the real world resemble our Such complica ted criminal e vents are extr emely rare,
image where a team can assemble rapidly, run to the but could devastate a Rapid Deployment team. If you
sound of the guns and quickly neutralize an active have committed the bulk of your resources to a single
shooter. Most incid ents will be ove r before a R apid team, the failure of that team could lead to disaster. An
Deployment team has a chance to gather and confusion active shooter is a terr ible event. However, sacrificing
at the scene will generally prevent a clear picture of the a number of officers in a noble, but unsuccessful
events until long after the shooting is over. response is likely to make the situation worse , not
better. Some situations still dictate the use of patrol
Second, Rapid Deployment teams are only trained and officers for containment while waiting for a S W AT
equipped to deal with relatively simple problems. Few team to arrive.

Rapid Deployment in a post 9-11 Environment

As we were completing the research phase o f this effort by multiple terrorists intended to lure in and
project, the United States was struck with the most eliminate our first responders, clearing the way for the
horrific terrorist attack yet experienced. When we terrorists to kill without interference.
consider the very real thre at of continued terrorist
attacks, parallels can be dra wn to the use o f Rapid The recommendations of this report seem to hold up
Deployment tactics. Both federal agencies and U.S. even when compared to attacks like those faced by
military assets are gearing up to deal with terrorist Israel: the best chance for neutralizing the attacker is an
attacks, but we all know that local police agencies will instant response b y someon e who is there when the
be the first to respond to an unexpected strike. And, shooting starts (or when the bomber is recognized).
we will be facing terrorists willing to die as a part of Similarly, most of these incidents will be over before
their plan. even a sma ll team can be assembled . If the incident is
still ongoing as a team arrives, there is a distinct
As a profession, law enforcement has a lot to learn possibility they could b e facing multip le terrorists who
about responding to critical incidents. Our brothers and have planned and organized their actions. We must not
sisters in the fire service have much more experience at underestim ate the terrorists; their p lan will proba bly
responding as a team and organizing themselves upon include preparations for our response. Sending a team
arrival. Still, the highest price paid by first responders to their death in a well meaning, but futile gesture will
at the World Trade Center was paid by the New York do nothing to eithe r neutralize the active shooters or
City Fire Department. Fire administrators across the save innocent lives. M ost police comm anders wo uld
nation have made a tough decision in the aftermath of never consider sending unprotected officers into the
September 11 th. Fire Departments will now make a “hot zone” of a chemical atta ck, but expect their
reasoned risk assessment before sendin g their peop le officers to run without h esitation into the “k ill zone” of
into the hostile environment of a terrorist attack . We an active shooter.
have trained for several years to expect terrorist groups
to utilize “secondary devices” with an eye toward Our worst fear is a terrorist attack using a weapon of
killing arriving eme rgency responders. The most mass destruction (W MD) . We no w know that th e
effective secondary device in history was the second response to a biolog ical attack will pro bably com e in
airliner crashing into the second tower in New York the form of an investigation, such as people suffering
City. We m ust assume the terrorists expected fire and from unexplained respiratory problems at a sporting
police responders to rush the site of the first “crash,” event. Should an attack involve chemical, radiological
thereby adding to the tally of victims killed by the or large-scale explosive weapon s, our response must be
second airliner. The te rrorists app arently did n’t slowed still further. The initial response will require a
anticipate the collapse of the Twin Towers, but we must risk assessment prior to any deplo yment of resources.
always consider a worst case scenario. While our goal Only a handful of police agencies have the specialized
is always to save as many innocent lives a s possible, to training and equip ment to resp ond to the sc ene of a
accomplish this we must stay alive ourselves. W M D attack, though these capabilities are being
upgraded at emergen cy speed. In Illinois, State
Some in the intelligence community are predicting Weapon of Mass Destruction Teams w ere in training
terrorist attacks like the Israelis have experienced for prior to September 11 th. These teams include members
several years. The Israeli attacks are committed by of several emergency response disciplines, with the core
individuals or small groups who attack with small arms of each team being T actical Response officers from the
and/or explo sive devices. The label of “suicide Illinois State Police. Thes e S W AT teams a re fully
bomber” is accurate, since these terrorists ex pect to die trained and equipped to respond to terrorist thre ats
in the commission of their strike. Like Israel, we must involving a WMD , but their response time is measured
be prepare d to engag e these attacke rs quickly and in hours, not m inutes. Local p atrol officers will alw ays
effectively, lest they succeed in spreading terror. W e be the first to respond, and the first to die if not
must also consider the possibility of a coordinated adequately trained and effectively led.

The Expert’s Opinions

Lieutenant C. W. Black, Littleton (Colorado) Police Department

Lt. C.W. "Bill" Black is with the Littleton, Colorado Police Department and was Commander of their SWAT T eam
during the Columbine High School Inc ide nt. H e wa s ask ed b y the Inc ide nt C omm and er fr om J effe rso n Co unty She riff's
Department to deploy the arriving SWAT teams and organize the rescue of students during that incident. Lieutenant
Black has been with Littleton Police Department for 23 years and is a Guest Instructor at Thunder Ranch.

Lieutenant B lack’s Comm ents:

“At last we have some empirical data that supports my view, and that of others, that Active Shooter Response is risky
and should only be attempted when no other approach is possible. I still think it is the exception and not the rule.
Unfortuna tely, our profession seems to make the exception the rule when it reacts to a horrendous event in law
enforcem ent.

This study supports the need for BAS IC training in sho oting, movin g and com municating a s an appro ach to any rap id
deployment scenario-no t some mag ic "footba ll play." Law enforc ement's strategy is that w e will respond to any "Active
Shooter" situation, wherever it may occur. Our tactics are what we do once we arrive. These tactics should include
sound, proven, patrol and SWAT tactics as well as stopping the killing where ap propriate . Our tactics should not make
things worse. But, without officers who have the will, the skill and some basic equip ment, chanc es of success a re slim.”

Mr. Richard E. Fairburn, Illinois State Police Academy

Mr. Fairburn has over 20 years of law enforcement experience in both Illinois and Wyoming. Mr. Fairburn’s experience
has included assignments in patrol, investigations, administration and training, including a stint as a municipal police
chief. Mr. Fairb urn has bee n with the Illinois Sta te Police sinc e 1996 , serving in the C riminal Intell igence Bureau,
Critical Incident Re sponse C omman d and T raining Aca demy. Dick developed th e Illinois State P olice Acad emy’s
Critical Incident Response training program and those duties served as the impetus for this research project. Mr. Fairburn
holds a B.S. degree in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University and has authored more than
100 articles on police equipment and training issues and a book on police rifle training.

Mr. Fa irburn’s Co mments:

“As the primary author of this report, my comments are already well represented. My goal when proposing this research
project was to more clearly define the mission and practicality of Rapid Deployment. In many respects, the proliferation
of Rapid Deployment training is little more than an emotional response to the Columbine High School shooting. As
professionals, we must not give in to an emotional response at a horrific incident. The citizens have a right to expect
from us an effective and measured response.

I feel that Rapid Deploym ent training is bo th practical and worthwhile. Sta tistically, however , active shoo ter incidents
are very rare and this research illustrates that almost all of them will be over long before even the quickest teams can hope
to make contact with the shooter. What we can do, is to better train and equip all police officer s for “immed iate
response” in the event they are very close when the shooting starts. In a few of these incidents, including the Columbine
High School incident, had the first arriving officer been armed with a rifle, and well trained it its use, the active shooter(s)
might have b een neutralize d almost imm ediately.

In my opinion , the single most im portant asp ect of the use o f Rapid Deploym ent tactics by pa trol officers is the ro le of
on-scene supervisory personnel. The commander on the scene must take immediate control of the responding assets and
conduct a threat/risk assess ment. The comm ander must set the response priorities, including the essential requirement
to set perimeters to minimize the number of potential victims in the “Kill Zone” and to ensure the shooter cannot escape
to endang er other are as. Before deploying a Rapid Deployment team, the commander has an obligation to ensure the
team has a re asonable chance for success.”

Mr. Thomas T. Gillespie, Criminal Justice Training & Consulting Services
M r. Gillespie began his law enforcement career in 1970 in Detroit, Michigan. He has served as a police sergeant,
municipal police chief, city manager, State of New Mexico law enforcement training director and Director of the New
Mexico Attorney G eneral’s Investigations Division. Since 1990, Mr. Gillespie has conducted over 400 Critical Incident
Management programs to more than 6,000 law enforcement supervisors and commanders throughout the United States
and abroad. He has authored a textbook on the police use of force and provides expert witness case review, evaluation
and testimony in crim inal and civil actions involving police training, supervision and use of force. Mr. Gillespie has
authored numerous articles in the field of critical incident management and use of force.

Mr. G illespie’s Comments:

“I have had the distinct honor of training thousands of police supe rvisors and comm anders in critical incident response
and mana gement ov er the past 12 years and the invitation to participate in the Rapid Deploym ent Summ it was greatly
appreciated. The perspective I was able to bring to the table was an awareness of the wide variety and types of
instruction being offered by police agencies in the area of “Rapid Deployment (RD)” training throughout the United

The participants were dedicated police commanders, trainers and tactical leaders attempting to determine the standard
protoco ls to effectively respond to active shooter events. Most were surprised at the various levels of training being
offered to police officers nationwide in the response to and handling of active shooter incidents. As mentioned in the
report, many “Rapid Deployment” training programs mere ly offer classroom instruction. There was unanimous
agreement that RD training must include realistic, hands-on skill building exercises. The failure to conduct practical and
realistic ‘team’ exercises would be similar to atte mpting to train an officer to fire a w eapon fo r accuracy w ith only
‘classroom’ instruction on sight alignment and trigger squeeze.

The RD protocols recommended in this report are simply minimum standards of training for officers facing — potentially
— the most dangerous and high-risk event they may ever deal with in their careers. Tactical officers understand the need
for on-going, rigorous and demanding training for the high -risk incidents they a re expecte d to “handle.” We must not
use shortcuts in preparing patrol officers to deal with the exact same type of incidents for which tactical officers are
training on a regular basis.

Lastly, the need to provide p roper comm and and control at these types of even ts must not be ig nored. First responding
supervisors are the key to effective and successful resolution of the incident. They mus t take charge a nd assume the role
of the COACH, not the PLAY ER. Risk and/or threat assessment, identification of the “kill zone” and establishing a
perimeter must be initiated by the on-scene commander prior to authorizing any type of tactical deployment for

It is my hope tha t this effort will attract criticism and comment. It is only through disagreement and discussion of the
issues that clarity and agreement can occur. It is only those supervisors that have nev er experien ced a po lice officer’s
injury or death at the scene of a critical incident that casually comment, “that’s what we get paid to do, it’s a dangerous
job!” We ow e our polic e officers and their families only the best training when confronte d with these type s of life
threatening incidents.”

Mr. Larry Glick, Executive Director, National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA)
Mr. Glick has over 28 years experience in the criminal justice field. Mr. Glick spent seven years as a special response
team member for the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear W eapons Complex. Four of those years were at the DOE
Central Training Academy as a tactics and firearms instructor and Safeguards and Security Training Departm ent Chief.
Larry completed four years as a Regional Director with the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Contractor Support
Program. After the retirem ent of John K olman in 19 93, Mr . Glick became the Executive Director of the NTOA.
Currently he oversees the operations of the NTOA including the NTOA's Information Resources, Regional Seminar and

Training Program , Tactical U nit and Incident Review Program as well as the publication of The Tactical E dge journ al.
Mr. Glick has lectured nationally to school and police audiences regarding school and police response to active shooters
in schools and public buildings. He testified before the Colorado Governor's Commission on the Columbine High School
tragedy concerning po lice training and response to violent active sho oter situations.

Mr. La rry Glick’s Co mments:

“I want to commend your group on the resea rch and rep ort you pro duced o n Rapid D eploymen t. I have read through
the report twice and the information contained in the report is very informative.

I would add nothing.”

Associate Professor David A. Klinger, Univer sity of M issouri-St. L ouis

David A. Klinger is Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missou ri-St. Louis.
He also has held positions as A ssistant Profess or (199 2-1998 ) and Asso ciate Professor of Sociology (1998-1999) at the
University of Houston. Prior to pursuing his graduate degrees, he worked for three and one-half years as a patrol officer
for the Los Angeles and Redmond (WA) Police Depa rtments. He has held research positions at the Police Foundation
in W ash ingt on, D.C .; the Uni ver sity o f W ash ingt on, Sea ttle; the W ash ingt on S tate 's Atto rne y's Office; and the Seattle
Police Department. He has written num erous scholarly articles, book chap ters, and encyclopedia en tries that address
topics such as arrest p ractices, the use of force, and how features of comm unities affect the actions of patrol officers.
He has recently completed a research project on officer-involved shootings and is currently nearing completion of a study
of police special we apons an d tactics (SW AT) tea ms. He rec eived his Ph .D. in Socio logy from the U niversity of
Washington in 1992.

Professor K linger’s Comm ents:

“I take issue with the argument that officers who aren’t keen o n the idea shouldn’t be trained in rap id response tactics.
Since when doe s a line officer get to tell the chief to buzz off and select w hat parts of the d epartmen t mission s/he will
and wil l n o t d o ? If the b os s s ay s “M y officers will have rapid response training and they will rapidly respond to active
shooting situations” and some officer doesn’t like it, that’s too ba d. S/he can a lways find ano ther job. A s far as I’m
concerned, an officer has n o more a right to recuse h im or herself from rapid respo nse training that s/he d oes from b asic
firearms, tactics, em ergency veh icle opera tion, report w riting, or any othe r aspect of the job.”

Sergeant Patrick Kreis, Winnetka (Illinois) Police Department

Patrick Kreis is a Sergeant with the Winnetka Police Department where he manages a comprehensive Use of Force
training program . He has sixteen years combined law enforcement and military instructional experience and is certified
as a Master Firearms Instructor by the Illinois Po lice Training Institute. Sergea nt Kreis is state b oard cer tified to teach
numerous police subjects including Less Lethal Weapons , Tactical Team Operations, Patrol Tactics, Scenario Based
Training, Use of Force Policy, and Critical Incident Response. He is a primary instructor for the Rapid Deployment
Instructor training offered by Mobile Training Unit #3. Sergeant Kreis is a former SWAT (NIPAS EST) Team Leader
and an active me mber of the Illinois Tactic al Officer’s Association . He is a graduate of Northwestern University School
of Police Staff and Command and holds a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice Science. Sergeant Kreis served eleven
years in the U.S. Army Reserve with qualifications in Special Forces and Military Intelligence.

Sergeant K reis’ Commen ts:

“We will have to disagree on the issue of perimeter establishment. I feel strongly that deploying the 10-15 initial officers
(5-10 minute response in the urban environment) on scene should be as follows: They are going to be much more
effective at protecting life if they deploy in contact teams to stop the active killing. They are going to be less effective
trying to control a perimeter that in many cases will be a square city block. My town's high school has 27 different
doorway entry points. T he first respon ders are the o fficers that I have the most confidence in. They work together and
train together. They have the same radios and are most familiar with the terrain. The second and third wave of

responders will be capable of establishing inner and outer perimeters, but less prepared to make entry. What good is a
perimeter outside the b uilding when th e bad guy is inside actively killing multiple victims? This philosophy is even more
essential in the rural communities that can't even count on a 10-15 officer response within a 30 minute response time.
It’s just not practical to tell them to set a perim eter before deciding to make entry. Regardless of when Klebold and
Harris chose to stop killing their victims, the fact of the matter is that those two killers were still seen on video walking
around with guns down without an apparent care in the world. Clearly they were not being pursued or engaged by the
Police, even 37 minutes after the killing started. Just how is a perimeter going to shorten the amount of killing
opportunity time?

Recently, we had an example of victims being their best self-protection in Skokie, Illinois. A student brought a loaded
gun to school and showed it to a friend. The suspect stated that he was going to kill a particular girl th en get to the
cafeteria to do mass murder before suicide. Another kid spotted the gun in the would-be shooter’s bag. The second
student calmly told a girl nearby, who used a ruse to leave class and inform the Dean. Then the hero slid the bag away
from the bad-guy when he wasn’t looking. The second student turned the bag over to the Dean and the suspect was
arrested witho ut incident.”

Sergeant Edward F. Mohn II, Libertyville (Illinois) Police Department

Sergeant Edward F. Mohn II is a 12-year veteran of the Libertyville (Illinois) Police Department, a suburb of Chicago
Illinois. He has been a member of the Northern Illinois Police Alarm Systems Emergency Services Team (NIPAS-EST)
for 11 years were he currently serves as the Entry Team Leader. Sergeant Mohn has participated in the successful
resolution of numerous critical incidents, felony fugitive apprehensions and high risk w arrant service operation s. He is
an Illinois State certified instructor in a wide variety of tactical and firearms related disciplines and is the lead instructor
for the NIPAS-EST 96 hour b asic SW AT co urse. Sergea nt Mohn serves on the Board of Directo rs for the Illinois
Tactical Officers Asso ciation (IT OA) and is the lead instructo r for the ITO A's Rapid D eploymen t program . He has
personally trained over a thousand officers in Rapid Deployment technique and tactics. A Grad uate of Na tional-Louis
University, Sergeant Mo hn served six years in the US Arm y as an infantryman prior to starting his law enforcement

Sergeant E dward F. Mo hn’s Comm ents:

"Train Hard ..............For The Day Will Come. This motto has become the driving force behind the training and
preparation that I have dedicated my team, my fellow officers and myself too. While the panel of experts p resented in
this docume nt do not ag ree on all asp ects of this proj ect, we all strongly agreed and are committed to improving the
training police officers are, or should be receiving in rega rds to the response and mana gement of c ritical incidents. W hile
active shooter type incidents occur infrequently, they present a unique set of challenges and problems that many officers
and agencies are not prepared to face. The traditional response of "Contain, Wait and Negotiate" has served us well and
should still be implemented in 99.9% of the critical incidents that occur. But, when an offender is actively murdering
innocent civilians how can police officers who are sworn to protect and serve our community and it's citizens stand by
and wait? I always ask my students during Rapid Deployment Training "W hat if that was your child, your mother, your
wife or husban d inside that b uilding"? W hat would yo u do? It is, and shall always be d ebated as to how Rapid
Deployment would of made a difference in many of the active shooter situations that have occurred. It is my belief that
the immediate deploym ent of law enforcement resourc es against the active shooter can and does save lives. One mu st
only take a look a t the situation in Israe l and see that live s are saved when polic e officers arriv e quickly and deploy
against armed offenders. Is this a dangero us endeavor?.… ..Yes. Do these techniques and tactics place officers in greater
danger than the tradition al "contain a nd wait" utilized in the past?........Y es. But, if not Rapid Deploym ent, then what?
We continually ask and search for a better solution from those who say Rapid Deployment is not the answer..........but
none have been presented. As long as there are those in the world who will prey upon and murder innocent people, then
there must be those of us who are trained, willing, ab le and ded icated to see king them ou t and stopp ing their dead ly
behavior . To do less is inconceiv able.
Train Hard...........For The Day Will Come".

Commander Richard A. Ryan, Decatur (Illinois) Police Department
Commander Ryan is a twenty-nine year police veteran. He holds a BA from Eastern Illinois University and served four
years with the USMC, including one tour with an infantry rifle company in Viet Nam. He is a graduate of the FBI
National Academy. Command er Ryan’s police experience includes operational service with both patrol and
investigations functions. He has served as coordinator of the K-9 Unit and as Commander of the Professional Standards
and Investiga tions Division s of the Dec atur Police Departm ent.

Commander Ryan is currently Commander of the Patrol Division of the Dec atur Police Departm ent. He was r esponsib le
for the development of the Decatur Police Department's Emergency Response Team and is Commander of the ERT.
Commander Ryan was the on-scene Commander for all major events related to the five years of turmoil experienced by
the City of Decatur resulting from three maj or labor disputes, a major K lu Klux K lan rally and turmoil during November
1999 involving Jesse Jackson's Rainbow-Push Coalition and white supremacist organizations. The Decatur Police
Departm ent’s Emergency Response Team has served in excess of five h undred h igh-risk search w arrants and has been
involved in the resolution of both hostage and barricaded suspect incidents, including incidents where deadly force was

Commander Ryan is a member of the Nat ion al T acti cal O ffice r's A sso ciat ion (NT OA ), th e Ill ino is T acti cal O ffice r's
Association ( IT OA), is a fo rme r me mbe r of t he B oar d of Dir ecto rs o f the ITO A an d is c urre ntly C hair of th e IT OA 's
Legislative Committee. He is the owner of Ryan Crisis Management Consulting, Inc. He has presented at State and
National conferences and has provided training throughout the State for topics related to Tactical Team Operations,
Managing Labor Disputes and Interest Group Events, High Risk Strategy and Tactics for Patrol Operations, Developing
School Crisis Response Plans and Patro l Rapid R esponse T actics for Activ e Shoote r Incidents. He is Coordinator for
Law Enforcement Programming and an adjunct faculty member at Richland Community College in Decatur and an
adjunct faculty member an d Advisory Bo ard member a t the Police Training Institute of the University of Illinois.

Comma nder Rya n’s Comme nts:

“As is often the case in law enforcement, the development of active shooter policies and training were a reaction to an
incident. We have reacted by training operators (first responding officers), hopefully well and to the standards indicated
above. However, we as administrators too often feel that we have done what is expected of us by providing some training
in the area of concern to the oper ators. In a pro fessional law en forcemen t environme nt, it is essential that administration
set clear (and high) standards for the agency in terms of the outcomes expected if the "active shooter" situation develops
in its jurisdiction. Having done so, the administration has the obligation to the officers to provide the policy, training
and equip ment nece ssary to succe ssfully achieve that o utcome.

Second ly, it is important to understand that crisis situations involve much more than the first responder's response. Once
containment and isolation have been accomplished, the real work of the administration begins... mana ging whateve r is
left. That may include managing a hostage or barricade situation (in the traditional fashion), managing a major criminal
investigation and crime scene, victim a ssistance, family reu nification, facility man agement, relief of security teams, etc.
It is critical that our administrators know, understand and be ready to implement a comprehensive Incident Command
Center to ensure that the whole incident is managed professionally--not just the crisis response.

Further, it is critical for the responding officers to understand that there are NO EXCU SES if an active shooter situation
develops. Whether administration has provided the policy, equipment and training or not, those we are sworn to protect
rightfully expect us to be there for them. No matter how many officers we have to respond with, we must be prepared
to get the job done. That means that each individual officer has the moral and professional obligation to have the heart
to respond, to be tactically proficient in terms of both skill development and the wisdom to know when to apply the
approp riate tactics, and must be physically able to perform. It sim ply isn't acceptab le to sit back an d comp lain that the
Departm ent, for whatev er reason, d idn't give me eve rything I need. G ood pe ople, using go od tactics will p revail.”

Master Sergeant John Simonton, Illinois State Police - Critical Incident Response Command
M aster Sergeant John Simonton is a 20-year law enforcement veteran, beginning his career with the Boone County

Sheriffs Department and moving on to the Illinois State Police in 198 4. John has been a member of the Tactical
Response Team program since 1986 and is currently the Team Leader for one of three full-time Tactical Response Teams
with the Illinois State Police. Master Sergeant Simonton is a certified instructor in close quarter battle, Critical Incident
Response and operational planning and management. He holds a bachelors degree in law enforcement administration
and has atten ded num erous supe rvisory training c lasses through out his caree r.

Master Sergea nt John Simonton’s Commen ts:

“While I certainly don’t consider myself an expert in this subject, I d id apprec iate the invitation to discuss the R apid
Deploym ent issues with this diverse and educated panel. W e in law enforc ement nee d to do a better job of critiquing
high-risk incidents and, most importantly, sharing that information with other law enforcement organizations. This
“commu nication gap ” has caused many negativ es in law enforc ement such as:

1. Inconsistent training for high-risk incidents;

2. No basis for decision m aking by new or inexperien ced supervisors facing similar incidents;
3. Repeated improper tactics; and,
4. Improper assessment of high risk factors leading to delayed or disastrous decision-making.

It is incumbent upon us, the trainers, to communicate our thoughts and experiences in handling critical incidents to those
preparing for them. We would not be here today discussing this issue if we had not created our own luck by exhaustive
prepara tions for the ultima te challenge.

A few years ago, a few team members and I started teaching an eight hour room clearing / building entry class for patrol
officers. This training was created for several reaso ns:

1. Requests by patrol officers assisting investigations with other than high risk (SWAT criteria) search and
arrest warrants;
2. a trend was beginning with departments buying equipment for officers, but not budgeting for adequate and
consistent training; and,
3. to prepare as many officers as possible in not only the physical art of room clearing, but the mental aspect
of risk assessm ent when co nfronted with a n active shoo ter incident that m ay require im mediate ac tion.

This type of training has been well received and has been made cost effective through the M obile Te am Tra ining Units
throughout Illinois. The training has been cond ucted now for app roximately three years, with several repeat officers and
agencies attending. Realistic “win” scenarios are utilized and made progressively more difficult, using Simunition© and
incorpo rating decisio n-making am ong peer s in a “stressful” training environme nt.”

Active Shooter Incidents

Case Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injure Times RD RD make a Narrative
# d used? Difference?*

001 Tampa , FL - Workplac 1 male 9mm and .38 5 15+ 1500 hours. NO NO Suspect shot specific co-workers at hotel,
Radisson e aged 36 handguns. 4+ officers except last victim (a women killed during a
Hotel Many shots on scene Gone on arrival carjacking 2 miles from scen e). Suspect
fired (unsure within 5 surrendered after vehicle pursuit. Suspect had
#). minutes fled the scene before police arrived.

002 Tampa , FL - Workplac 1 male 9mm handgun. 3 2 1100 hours. NO NO Suspect entered workplace and targeted specific
Fireman’s e mid-30's Many shots 4+ officers co-workers. Suspect fled the scene before
Fund fired (unsure on the scene Gone on arrival officers arrived and was later found dead, from
Insurance #). Probable within 5 a self-inflicted wound, at a nea rby golf course.
building reload. minutes.

003 Anaheim, Rampage 1 male 2 revolvers. 7 2 1 1040 hours. NO NO Suspect entered the hosp ital where his mot her
CA - after aged 43 shots fired. 4+ officers had recently died and shot random targets. Shot
Hospital mother Probable on scene Already in custody 3 people, reloaded revolver and was grabbed
died in reload. within 6 and detained by hospital staff before police
this minutes. arrived. First arriving officer set-up a
hospital Command Post and implemented ICS. 15-20
minutes before police entered the building and
took sus pect in to custo dy.

004 Olivehurst, School 1 male 12 gauge 4 10 1405 hours. NO - NO Former student entered school and killed the
CA - High aged 19 shotgun and 4+ officers teacher that had flunked out this student the
School .22 rimfire on scene BUT Suspect had previous year. Remaining gunshot victims were
rifle. within 5 very already barrica ded more random in nature. Suspect then barricaded
Estimated 15- minutes. rapid with hostages himself into the upstairs library with 80+
20 shots fired, SWAT entry response hostages. Two of first arriving officers were
most were 3 within 10 by SWAT, who entered as a two man team with
inch #4 shot minutes. SWAT long guns, but no other SWAT gear. This team
loads. trained withdrew with a victim. Upon re-entering, the
officers SWAT duo met a student who had been sent
from the library to announce that hostag es were
being held. The suspect surrendered through
negotiations after about 8 hours.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

005 Pelham, AL Workplac 1 male .40 handgun. 3 0 0730 hours. NO NO Suspect shot specific targets at each of two
- multiple e aged 33 9-10 rounds 4+ officers business locations about 6 miles apart. Suspect
business fired (6-7 at on scene Gone on arrival at allowed some potential targets to leave
locations first scene/2 within 5 both scenes unharmed from each location. Sus pect had fled
killed, 3 at minutes. both scenes before police could arrive. Police
second scene/1 knew suspect’s name and description after the
killed). first shooting incident. Suspect was taken into
custody shortly after the second shooting in a
felony traffic stop.

006 Jonesboro, School 2 males, Each suspect 5 10 1220 hours. NO NO Suspects used the fire alarm to draw victims
AR - aged 11 had 5 guns, 4+ officers from the school gymnasi um and fired wi th rifles
Middle and 13 including on scene in Shooting was over from a woodline 93 yards away. The .357
School (used): .44 less than 5 by the time officers handgun was fired at a construction worker in
Carbine, .30 minutes. 15- arrived the distance. A Deputy Sheriff located the
Carbine, 20 officers suspects as they attempted to flee their shooting
scoped .30-06, on scene positio n and to ok them i nto cust ody.
.357 revolver. within 10
26 shots fired, minutes.
over 400
rounds in

007 Conyers, School 1 male .22 rimfire rifle 0 6 - all 0759 hours. NO NO Suspect got off the school bus (with weapons),
GA - High aged 15 (stock cut- wounds 4th officer walked into the “commons” area and began
School down for better were arrived in 7 Shooting was over shooting with the .22 rifle. Suspect fired the
concealment) below minutes. by the time officers .357 revolver over his shoulder back towards
and .357 the Incident arrived school as he fled on foot. Suspect dropped the
revolver. Fired waist over in 12 rifle in the school as he fled. Suspect was
12 shots (11 minutes. confronted by an assistant principle (student had
from .22 at the .357 in his mouth) and surrendered the
victims and 1 revolver to the prin ciple when ordered to do so.
at school from First officer to arrive was dealing with victims.
.357). Second arriving officer placed suspect into
custod y.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

008 Sheridan, School 1 male 9mm handgun. 0 4 1100 hours. NO NO Suspect walked onto middle school playground
WY - aged 29 Fired 15-20 First officer and opened fire on a group of 20-25 students.
Middle rounds (uns ure) arrived Suspect commi tted All victims had been shot prior to the first
School with reload. within 3 suicide as the officer’s arrival. As the arriving officers
minutes and officers arrived approached the playground area, the suspect
third officer committed suicide with the handgun.
within 4

009 Newington, Workplac 1 male 9mm handgun, 4 - (3 0 0844 hours. NO NO Suspect killed co-workers at the Lottery
CT - State e aged 35. large hunting killed Four+ building. 2 shots were reported fired after
Lottery knife. 20 shots by officers Suspect commi tted police arrived. Suspect committed suicide upon
Headquarter fired (18 before gunfir arrived at suicide as the arrival of the first officers.
s. police arrived e and 0846. officers arrived
and 2 after 1 Incident
police arrived). killed resolved at
by 0846.
e and

010 Wakefield, Workplac 1 male Shotgun, 7 0 Times NO - NO Suspect entered a business in a huge multi-
MA - Office e aged 43 handgun, unsure: business complex and shot employees in his
complex AK47 type reported that BUT Shooting was over former employer’s personnel office. The first
rifle. At least 7 a 3 officer very by the time officers three officers found a victim and then found the
shots fired, team entered rapid arrived suspect a few feet away from that victim. The
most from AK, the building response suspect had put down his weapons, was almost
some from in from 5-10 by patrol in a trance, and offered no resistance to arrest.
shotgun. minutes. 10 officers
officers in
the building
by the time
of arrest.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

011 Great School 1 male AR15. Many 2 4 2230 hours. NO NO Suspect, a student at this exclusive school, first
Barrington, aged 19 shots fired at 3 The first shot a security guard at the gate, then shot a
MA - different officer Shooting was over professor in his car. From there the suspect
Preparatory locations arrived by the time officers walked to the library and a dorm, shooting
School around the within 5 arrived random targets. Suspect barricaded himself in
campus. minutes. 4+ the cafeteria and called 911. An officer at 911
officers on center convinc ed the su spect to surrend er. At
scene within time of surrender 7 officers were on the scene
20 minutes. and had just completed setting on-scene
Incident perimeters. SWAT team had been called but
resolved at was 1-2 hours out. Shooting was apparently
about 2300 over by the time offic ers arrived on scen e.

012 Royal Oak, Workplac 1 male in Rifle and 5 4 0800 hours. NO - NO Suspect, a suspended postal employee and
MI - Post e 30's. handgun. First officer former Marine, entered the central post office
Office Unknown arrived BUT Shooting was over and targeted former supervisors and co-workers.
number of within 2 very by the time officers Suspect was found inside dead from a self-
shots fired. minutes. 3 rapid made contact inflicted gunshot wound.
officers response
entered the by patrol
building in officers
less than 5
minutes. 4-5
officers in
the building
by the time
they found
the dead

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

013 Lincoln Rampage 1 male .22 rimfire 3 1 1145 hours. NO NO Resident of high rise went to his apa rtment after
Park , MI - after aged 55. rifle. 20-30 (elderly First officer an argument at a meeting and returned with a
Senior argument. shots fired both man arrived in 2 Suspect had .22 rifle. Suspect shot managers of the
Citizens’ inside building shoved minutes. 6 barricaded by the residential complex and returned to his
Residential and out of over officers on time officers apartment on the 14th floor. Arriving officers
High Rise window at against scene within arrived found victims, but no active shooter. At that
arriving water 5 minutes. point the suspect opened fire on arriving police
officers. cooler Officers units from the window of his apartment. The
as entered the suspect called his son and c laimed to be holding
suspect building in 6 hostages (did not actually have any hostages).
fled minutes. The son relayed this info to police. Police heard
shootin Suspect in man snoring on open phone line after he had
g custod y - taken medications. SWAT entered and took
scene). about 3 suspect into cu stody.

014 Dearborn, Workplac 1 male Handgun. 25- 3 0 1000 hours. NO POSITIVE Suspect entered central post office and began
MI - Post e mid 50's. 30 rounds First officer shooting co-workers and supervisors. The first
Office fired, with arrived A Rapid officers that arrived heard shots from inside the
reloads. Some within one Deployment team building after their arrival. Policy in effect
shots were minute. 4-5 might have been required contai nment, s o immedi ate entry wa s
fired after the officers on able to make not made. Negotiators attempted to make
police arrived. scene in 3 contact with contact by bullhorn. SWAT made a hasty entry
minutes. shooter before he 20-30 minutes into the incident and found the
Entry made committed su icide. suspect dead from a self-inflicted wound.
about 20-30 Though unsure of the time sequence of shots, all
minutes into victims were probably shot before an RD team
incident. could have made contact. However, the remote
possibility remains that one or more lives could
have been saved by immediate action.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

015 Melrose Workplac 1 male Handgu n, SKS 4 4 0944 hours. NO - NO Suspect, a former employee, entered factory and
Park, IL - e aged 66. (7.62x39) used; First officer fired randomly at workers in the section of the
NaviStar 12Ga and .30- arrived in BUT Shooting was over plant where he was most familiar. Arriving
plant 30 not used. one minute. very by the time officers officers “followed the trail of bodies.” Officers
17 shots fired, 4+ officers rapid made contact found the suspect, dead from a self-in flicted
most from the on scene response wound, within 10-15 minutes of the call.
SKS. within 5 by patrol Extremely high noise level of the factory
minutes. officers prevented officers from hearing gunshots, if any
Officers shots were fired after their arrival. Suspect had
made probably already killed him self before the
immediate officers arrived at the plant.
entry as they

016 Topeka, KS Courthous 1 male Handgun(s), 2 2 1100 hours. NO - POSITIVE Suspect had previously d etonated a car bomb in
- Federal e pipe bombs, First officer another county as a diversionary device prior to
Courthouse several shots arrived BUT Rapid entry entering the federal building for this incident.
fired. within 1-2 very probably forced The suspect was due to be sentenced on drug
minutes and rapid suspect away from related charges the next day. Upon arrival on
4+ officers response additional victims the 4th (court) floor, the suspect shot the security
were on by patrol guard and proceeded to the court clerk’s office,
scene within officers firing at random targets along the way. A pipe
4 minutes. bomb hanging on the suspect’s clothing
detonated, severely wounding the suspect.
Arriving officers pulled the dead security guard
off the floor and quickly returned to search for
the suspect. The s everely injured susp ect fired
a suicide shot as the officers ret urned to the 4 th
floor. Topeka PD felt their immediate action
pushed the suspect into a room where was
unable to make contact with additional victims.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

017 Southfield, Doctor’s 1 male in .45 caliber 2 2 1700 hours. YES POSITIVE Suspect entered his psyc hiatrists’ o ffice and
MI - office his 40's handgun, First two began shooting members of his counseling
Psychiatrist’ emptied 2 officers Rapid entry group. Suspect had brought a handgun to a
s Office magazines, 10+ arrived probably forced meeting on a previous occasion. Arriving
shooting shots fired. within 2 suspect away from officers organized a RD res ponse and ent ered
minutes (1 additional victims the building within 5 minutes of the call.
officer was Shooting was on the 12th floor of a 26 story
SWAT building. RD team was made aware of active
armed with shooting, a good location description and told
MP5). RD of severely injured (but still alive) victims.
Team made FD/Paramedics and building security were
entry into incorporated into the RD response. RD team
the building arrived on the 12th floor as the suspect fired a
within 5 shot. The suspect ran back into the doctor’s
minutes. office and fired another shot (suicide shot).
This PD is convinced that RD saved lives in this

018 Jackson, Workplac 1 male .25/9mm and 4 6 1200 hours. NO NO Suspect/fir efighter entered a FD staff meeting
MS - Fire e aged 32 .357 handguns First officer and shot/killed all 10 personnel in the meeting.
Department and small arrived Suspect was Suspect deployed small propane containers, but
propane within 2 leaving as officers could not get them to explode. A firefighter in
containers. minutes. arrived the meeting had a safety device which opened a
Many shots Suspect had microphone on FD channel and audio of almost
fired (reloaded fled before (Counts as Gone the entire incident was broadcast and recorded.
TEC9 at least additional on arrival) Suspect fled the scene and was fired at by an
twice). officers arson investigator (not hit). After a pursuit, an
Suspect fired at arrived at officer from a neighbori ng agency engaged the
small propane FD. suspect and both were hit/wounded. Suspect
tanks, but did had fled the initial shooting scene before any
not cause them response was possi ble.
to explode.

019 Jackson, School 1 female Handgun, 0 0 Times NO - NO Mother was called to school to meet with son
MS - High in 30's unsure of unsure. and school counselor. Son was accused of
School number of BUT Already in custody selling drugs at the school. Mother arrived and
shots fired (7?). very opened fire on the son, landing no hits. Mot her
rapid ran from the school an d was tac kled by a School
response Resource Officer that was on campus and ran to
by SRO the report of gun fire.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

020 Lynnville, School 1 male .22 rimfire 1 2 0800 hours. NO NO Suspect entered school intending to shoot
TN (Giles shooting aged 17 rifle, 3-4 shots First officer specific teachers. Student shot/killed one
County fired. was already Already in custody teacher and then sh ot another in t he head
S.O.) - High at school (survived). As suspect moved through the
School (DARE school, he fired at anot her teacher, bu t missed
officer) , 4+ and hit a student in the neck (survived). DARE
officers on officer in the grade school wing was unarmed
scene with (by policy at that time), ran to his vehicle to
12 minutes. retrieve his sidearm and got to the shooting
location just as 2 teachers and a student
wrestled the suspect to the ground. DARE
officer handcuffed the suspect and radioed to
responding officers that the suspect was in
custody. Suspect reported that he had intend ed
to execute a traffic deputy normally stationed in
front of the school and then to later use the
police car to escape. The traffic deputy was off
that day. Incident was over before RD team
could have arrived/deployed.

021 Reno, NV Random 1 male .22 rimfire 0 2 0815 hours. NO NO Suspect fired at random vehicles t ravel ing on I-
random shooting aged 19 rifle, 20+ shots First officer 80 near Reno, NV with a .22 rimfire rifle.
highway on fired. One on scene Gone on arrival Victims first thought their vehicles were being
shooting. Interstate victim 0838, 4+ hit by rocks and did not call police for at least
(I-80). wounded by officers on 15 minutes. Incoming calls gave multiple
glass shards in scene by locations and shooting location was very
face, another 0845. difficult to pin down. SWAT units and air
wounded by assets arrived and searched the area (very
small bullet rugged and difficult terrain) until 1 300 hours
fragments in without locating suspect. The suspect had fled
arm. the scene several mi nutes before police arrived.
Suspect was later apprehended when NHP
officers saw a rifle in the back of his vehicle
during a traffic stop.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

022 Colebrook, Shooting 1 male AR15 with 2 4 1330 hours. NO - POSITIVE Suspect, with long history of violent threats,
New spree and aged 62. Aimpoint sight, First two was stopped by NHSP Trooper. Suspect exited
Hampshire, ambush 9mm handgun officers BUT However, his vehicle with an AR15 and shot the first
ambushes. after (not used), 75+ initiated a very this situation Trooper (survived). The second arriving
shooting shots total. 43 traffic stop rapid required fire & Trooper was shot/k illed through the windshield
two shots fired at on suspect. response maneuver tactics, of his vehicle, being unable to return fire or exit
Troopers first incident by patrol not a diamond the kill zone (43 rounds fired by suspect at this
at traffic (traffic stop). and formation scene). Suspect then drove one of the police
stop. Some .223 SWAT cars to Colebrook where he killed specific
rounds were trained targets (judge t hat was fl eeing her la w office
M855 “green officers and a newspaper editor that wrestled the suspect
tip” penetrator down). The suspect drove to his home, cha nged
cartridges. clothes, gathered more ammunition and donned
Suspect was level III soft body armor. The suspect drove the
wearing level police car to a remote location and set it up as
III body armor ambush “bait.” The su spect took up a high-
at ambushes. ground position overlooking the stolen police
car. When a Fish & Game officer located the
stolen police car, he was shot at several times,
including a .223 hit that fragmented on his
badge. Fish & Game officer was able to drive
out of the kill zone. As many other police
agencies arrived, they saw th e “bait” police
vehicle, but did not approach it. As officers
moved through the heavily wooded area, a K9
alerted and in a subsequent gunfight, 3 officers
were wounded and the suspect was killed.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

023 Aiken, SC, Workplac 1 male in Armed with 2 6 6 1530 hours. NO - POSITIVE Suspect was fired employee of engine parts
factory. e late 30's. handguns 15 officers plant. Shot security guard at gate and then
(semi-autos), on scene BUT Teams probably entered building and killed the plant man ager
more than 50 within 4 very forced suspect and other specific targets. Arriving officers
shots fired. minutes. rapid away from formed two hasty t eams, lead by on-dut y SWAT
response additional victims personnel (5-man team in front and 6-man team
by patrol in back). The entry teams moved through the
officers building, advancing toward the sound of
gunshots. After several minutes, they heard no
more gunshots and relied on workers in the
plant to direct them toward the suspect. Teams
bypassed the dead and wounded and called in
additional officers to deal with the victims.
About 15-20 minutes after entry, the teams
realized the suspect was in a fixed location, so
they set an inner perimeter around the suspect
and waited for SWAT to arrive and clear the
area. The suspect tried to commit suicide by
drinking a poisonous liquid. SWAT officers
found him unconscious. Department’s RD
policy/training was developed around the
details of this incident, so their response now
would be the same as they used in this event.

024 Pearl, MS, School 1 male Armed with 2 7 0800 hours. NO NO Suspect killed his moth er earlier that da y, then
High aged 16. Marlin .30-30 3 officers on entered school and killed two specific students.
School. lever action scene within Already in custody He sought a third specific student, but when
rifle. Fired 6-7 4 minutes, unable to locate that t arget, he began firing
rounds - and 11 officers randoml y. First two students were killed with
reloaded. Had on scene head/neck shots. One wounded student
30 more rounds within 6 received a torso shot, others were minor wounds
in pocket when minutes. from bullet/concrete fragments from missed
captured. Suspect in shots. A teacher (National Guard Captain) ran
custody to his vehicle and retrieved his Beretta service
within 3 pistol. As the suspect attempted to drive from
minutes of the scene, the teacher detained him at gunpoint.
first call to The first arriving officer took the suspect into
police. custod y. Suspect was one of 5 students
conspiring to conduct a large-scale execution-
style shooting event, but the other students
backed out of the plan. Suspect was detained
by armed teacher before police arrived.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

025 Blackville, School 1 male Armed with 1 1 0837 hours. NO NO Student had been expelled p revious day, and
SC, High aged 16. stolen H&R .32 First officer was part of a 3 student conspiracy to kill the
School. revolver with 4 arrived at Shooting was over principle. The other students backed out of the
rounds. 4 shots 0839. 4+ by the time officers plan. Student enter ed the school and shot/killed
fired. officers on arrived the bandleader and a teacher. A third shot hit a
the scene wall (possibly a missed shot at someone). The
within 10 student then used his fourth, and last shot to
minutes. commit suicide. Suspect had along history of
juvenile arrests. Incident was over before police
arrived on scene.

026 Lewistown, School 1 male Armed with a 1 3 Morning NO NO Student intended to shoot a teacher that was
MT, High aged 16 .41 Magnum event. Two flunking him. He walked into the classroom
School revolver. officers in Gone on arrival and shot the teacher in the back of the head
Suspect fired 5 the school at before realizing it was a substitute teacher. This
shots. a ball game, teacher was killed. Suspect t hen walked
but several through hallway and shot the vice principal in
minutes the chest. Ast the vice principal was on the
elapsed floor, the suspect fired a head shot at close
before the y range, but missed (vice principal survived). As
were the suspect ran from the sch ool, he fir ed two
notified of additional rounds at students he thought were
the shooting. pursuing him and th ey received minor wounds
from fragments. The student was captured lat er
at home. The time line of this event was
estimated to be less than 2 minutes from the
first shot to the suspect leaving the building.
Two Police officers were on-duty in the school
gymnasium at a basketball tournament, but were
not aware of the shooting for several mi nutes
and were the first to arrive on the shooting

027 Sandy, UT, Random 1 male Armed with a 2 3 2100 hours. NO NO Suspect shot his girlfriend in a hotel after a
hotel/restaur shooting aged 21 .38 caliber Four+ argument. Suspect then fled to a nearby
ant spree after handgun, 6 officers Gone on arrival restaurant and sho t the man ager and a waiter.
shooting. an shots fired. arrived He then ran to the parking lot and attempted to
argument. about carjack a vehicle, shooting the driver. Suspect
simultaneou then ran to a gas station and attempted to
sly within 4 carjack another vehicle, eventually fleeing on
minutes. foot. The suspect was captured the following
day. The suspect had fled the scene before
police officers arrived.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

028 Killeen, TX, Random 1 male in Armed with 23 20 1230 hours. NO - POSITIVE Suspect drove his truck through the front
Luby’s shooting late 20's. two 9mm First officer windows of a Luby’s restaurant and began
Restaurant. spree. handguns arrived BUT Actions of officers randomly shooting patrons. Responding police
(Glock and within 5 very forced suspect officers entered through the crash site and
Ruger). minutes and rapid away from immediately engaged the suspect, hitting him
Suspect fired at 4+officers response additional victims several times (non-life threatening wounds).
least 50 shots, on the scene by patrol The suspect was driven through the building,
with several within 10-15 officers and attempted to b arricade himself in the
reloads. minutes. women’s restroom, but a patron held the door
Event was closed. As police officers closed on his
over within position, the suspect committed suicide. Most
20 minutes of his shots were directed at women and were
from first close-range execution-style shots. Majority of
call. the wounded were from glass fragments and
trampling as the crowd escaped.

029 Salt Lake Random 1 male Armed with a 2 3 1031 hours. NO - POSITIVE Suspect was schizophrenic Russian immigrant
City, UT, shooting aged 70. .22 rimfire More than 4 who thought he was being pursued by the KGB.
LDS spree. semi-auto officers were BUT Actions of officers Suspect entered t he librar y of the down town
Church handgun, 25-30 on the scene very forced suspect Latter Days Saints (Mormon) church and began
library. rounds fired, within 3 rapid away from shooting random targets. An unarmed church
including minutes. response additional victims security guard was killed. Responding officers
multiple by patrol were dragging shooting victims out to safety
reloads of a officers while being fired upon by the suspect. The
single suspect fled to a nearby hallway, where he u sed
magazine. cover to continue fi ring at police. He reloaded
the single magazine of the pistol multiple times.
Police officers eventually were able to get 2
shots at the suspect, a .223 rifle shot that missed
and a .45 caliber pisto l shot that hi t and killed
the suspect.

030 Salt Lake Random 1 female Armed with a 1 1 1515 hours. NO - NO Schizophrenic female had a history of stalking
City, UT, shooting aged 25. Taurus 9mm More than 4 and threatening media personalities. Suspect
KSL-TV spree. handgun. 14 officers on BUT Already in custody entered the KSL-TV station and began firing in
station. rounds fired, the scene very the reception area, but did not hit anyone there.
with a reload. within 4 rapid Suspect went up to the 2 n d floor and shot
minutes. response through a door she could not open. Suspect
by patrol then went up to the 3 rd floor, offices of AT&T,
officers where she killed one person and wounded
another before being wrestled to the ground and
detained by workers in the offic e. Shooting was
over before police arrived.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

031 Williamspor School 1 female .22 rimfire 0 1 1203 hours. YES NO Female student used a .22 revolver to shoot a
t, PA, aged 14. revolver. 1 shot Four-man specific fellow student in the cafeteria. That
parochial fired. RD team Already in custody student survived. After firing the shot, the girl
school. made entry pointed the revolver at others and then threw the
at 1207, weapon down. A teacher escorted the student to
suspect in the assistant p rincipal’s off ice where she was
custody at held until police arrived. Williamsport PD had
1208. fully trained their personnel in RD tactics and a
4-man RD team entered the school in a diamond
formation within 3 minutes of receiving the call
of this incident. The team moved quickly
through the building, was directed to the
principal’s office and took the suspect into
custody at that location. Shooti ng was over
before the police a rrived on the scen e.

032 Edmond, Workplac 1 male 2 - .45 calib er 15 3 0730 hours. NO NO Suspect had been reprimanded by his supervisor
OK, Post e aged 30's. semi-auto No entry at the Post Office the previous day. Suspect
Office. handguns. 20+ until SWAT Shooting was over was a OK National Guard competitive shooter.
shots fired, at arrived. 4+ by the time officers Suspect entered the post office and shot his
least 1 reload. officers on arrived supervisor and then shot random co-workers.
scene within Arriving police supervisor made the decision
5 minutes. not to enter the post office until SWAT arrived.
Reports indicate that the last shots were fired at
about the same time that officers arrived on the
scene (suicide shot).

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

033 Edmond, Random 1 male M1, Garand, 1 1 1730 hours. NO POSITIVE Suspect’s son called police to report that his
OK, random shooting aged 40's. .30-06. 8 shots See narrative father had shot his computer with a rifle and
shooting. spree. fired. for response However, was wandering the neighborhood. Several
Reloaded and data. this situation officers (5?) Had respond ed to the area to find
was preparing required fire & the suspect. About 10 minutes after the initial
to shoot again maneuver tactics, call, the suspect fired at a man in his backyard,
when killed. not a diamond killing the victim. Nearby, the suspect fired at
formation a man near a backyard pool, wounding that
victim. An officer in the area heard the shots,
saw the suspect running and fired 2 shots at him
(.45 handgun - 1 hit @ 73 yards). When hit in
the buttocks, the suspect went down and
crawled under a bush. The suspect reloaded his
rifle and was rising to fire when two other
officers fired (1 with AR15, 1 shot, 1 hit – 1
with 9mm, 2 shots, 0 hits). The suspect was
killed by the AR15 hit.

034 Bethel, AK, School 1 male 12 gauge 2 2+ 0849 hours. YES POSITIVE Suspect walked into high school with shotgun
High aged 16. shotgun loaded 3 officers on hidden under a trench coat. He entered
School. with birdshot. scene and Rapid police action principal’s office and argued for the return of
6+ shots fired. made entry almost certainly confiscated property, then sh ot & killed the
within 4 saved lives - principal. While walking from the office, the
minutes. caused the suspect shot a specific student he wan ted to kill.
Suspect in surrender 2 other students had taken part in a pre-event
custody conspiracy to kill people in the school, but the
within 7 others did not participate in the actual shooting.
minutes. The suspect fired shots at lockers that produced
minor wounds to at least 2 other students. This
school is built on high supports because of
surrounding tundra. Several students were
injured when they jumped from 1s t floor
windows to exit the school (1-2 story drop from
“first” floor windows). The suspect walked up
the stairway to the 2n d floor of the school and
was part way up the stairs when the 3-man
police team made entry in to the lobby/stairway
area. The suspect fired two shots at the arriving
officers. One officer returned fire with 2 - 12
gauge slugs that narrowly missed the suspect.
At that point the suspect threw down his
weapon an d was tak en into c ustody.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

035 Fort Worth, Church 1 male .380 and 9mm 7 7 1851 hours. NO - NO Suspect walked into a crowded church gathering
TX, aged 47. handguns and a First two and opened fire with handguns. An off-duty
Wedgewoo pipe bomb. 63 officers BUT Shooting was over officer that lived across the street arrived at the
d Baptist shots fired, still arrived very by the time officers same time as the firs t on-duty officer and they
Church. had 96 rounds simultaneou rapid made contact made immediate entry to find the shooter. The
on his person. sly within 2 response arriving officers heard a single shot after they
minutes. by patrol arrived (which was the suspect committing
More than 4 officers suicide). A pipe bomb the suspect had hanging
officers on on his clothing exploded during the event,
the scene severely injuring the suspect, but no one else.
within 3 The suspect was already dead when the officers
minutes. made ent ry into th e sanctu ary.

036 Littleton, School 2 males 9mm handgun 13 24 1119 hours. NO NO Suspects had a detailed plan to use explosives
CO, aged 17 (TEC9), 9mm First officer and guns to kill hundreds of students at their
Columbine and 18. carbine and 2 - on scene Victims were all high school. Incident began with a diversionary
High sawed off 12ga within 2 shot before officers explosion some distance from the school. When
School. shotguns. 188 minutes. could have made a large explosive device they had secreted in the
shots fired more than 4 contact cafeteria failed to explode, t he suspects walk ed
(most were officers on from the parking lot toward the school, shooting
from 9mm the scene some students outside the building before
carbine). 76 within 5 entering. Most of the victims were shot in the
explosive minutes. upstairs library area. The first arriving officer
devices at the (the school resource offi cer - SRO) was pinn ed
scene, 30 down by gunfire as he attempted to exit his
devices were vehicle. The SRO returned fire, but did not hit
used by the the suspects (using a handgun @ 60 yards). The
suspects. suspects fired at officers and rescuers at several
points during the in cident. SWAT offic ers
poured a high volume of fire into the library
windows at one point to cover the rescue of
downed students below the library. The
suspects comm itted suicide in the library about
47 minutes int o the inciden t; About the same
time that the first SWAT officers were making
entry on the opposite side of the school. All of
the victims in this incident were shot within the
first 13 minutes.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

037 Thurston School 1 male Ruger 10/22 2 25 0754 hours. NO NO Student had been arrested previous day for
High aged 15. .22 rimfire rifle First officer possession of handgun at school (expelled).
School, with a 50 round on the scene Already in custody That evening he killed both paren ts at home.
Springfield, magazine, within 2 The next morning, t he suspect walk ed onto
OR. Glock 9mm minutes. campus and started shooting randomly at
pistol and Four+ students along a breeze way with a Ruger .22
Ruger .22 officers on rimfire semi-auto rifle with a 50 round
rimfire, semi- scene within magazine. He then entered the busy cafeteria
auto pistol (not 5 minutes. and began randomly shooting students with the
fired at school) rifle. As he attempted to reload the rifle (all 50
and knives. rounds had been fired), he was rushed by a
Fired 51 student he had already shot in the torso. The
rounds, 50 suspect was able to draw the Glock pistol from
from rifle and 1 a holster and fire one round, wounding a student
from Glock. in the hand, before being overpowered by
Had 500+ several students. Suspect was being held down
additional by students when the first officer arrived and
rounds on rushed directly into the cafeteria, taking the
person when suspect into custody. It took about 15-20
detained. minutes to clarify that the incident involved the
single sh ooter tha t was alrea dy in cus tody.

038 Frontier School 1 male .30-30 lever 3 1 1400 hours. NO NO Suspect (student) called in sick then walked into
Middle aged 13. action rifle, 5 4+ officers his algebra class and opened fire on the first 3
School, shots fired. on scene Suspect had students near the doorwa y. When the teacher in
Moses within 6 already barrica ded the class yelled at the student, he turned and
Lake, WA. minutes. with hostages shot the teacher. A teacher from a neighboring
before officers class ran into the room and the studen t pointed
arrived the rifle at the second teacher. At that point the
suspect held the remainder of the students
hostage in the classroom , but allowed the single
wounded individual to be dragged out into the
hallway. Police entered the building and saw
the wounded stud ent in the hallway. After a
stand-off of 10-15 minu tes, the second teacher
was able to wrestle the gun from the suspect and
call in p olice to ta ke the boy i nto cust ody.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

039 US Workplac 1 male .38 revolver, 8 1 1 1050 hours. NO - NO Suspect walked into place of business and shot
Embroid ery, e aged 37. shots fired. First officer his business partner and the receptionist. The
Sante Fe on scene BUT Shooting was over suspect fled to another business in a nearby
Springs, within 3 very by the time officers building. As the people in the second business
CA. minutes. 4+ rapid made contact ran from that building, they heard a shot fired
officers on response inside and reported that to arriving officers.
scene within by patrol Arriving police officers made immediate entry
6 minutes. officers into the second location, using a ballistic shield.
using As soon as they entered the second building,
ballistic they saw the suspect , dead from a self-i nflicted
shield wound.

040 Omni Workplac 1 male 9mm Beretta 2 3 0955 hours. NO NO Suspect walked into the plastics plant and began
Plastics, e aged 38. handgun. 25- First officer shooting random co-workers. Suspect fired 25-
Sante Fe 30 shots fired, arrived Gone on arrival 30 rounds in rapid succession, then fled the
Springs, with reloads. within 2 scene. The suspect’s weapon was either empty
CA. minutes. 4+ or had malfunctioned, as he attempted to shoot
officers on other victims outside the building as he fled.
scene within Arriving officers were told the suspect was
4 minutes. already gone and were p rovided with a d etailed
suspect and vehicle description. About 1 hour
later the suspect committed suicide in
neighboring Los Angeles.

041 Santana School 1 male .22 rimfire 2 13 0921 hours. NO - POSITIVE Suspect walked onto campus and began firing
High aged 16. revolver, 15 SRO and from a restroom entran ce under a breeze way
School, shots fired. off-duty San BUT Rapid response by canopy. After firing at several random and
Santee, C A. Diego PD very officers specific targets, the suspect retreated into the
officer were rapid undoubtedly restroom, popping in and out. The school
on campus response contained the Resource Office and an off-duty officer
when by SRO, suspect and caused responded towards the shots and were joi ned by
incident off-duty him to surrend er two arriving patrol officers by the time they
started. 4+ and made contact with the suspect. When the
officers on patrol suspect saw the arriving officers, he present ed
scene within officers the gun by grabbing th e barrel and surr endered
4 minutes. to the police. Suspect made no attempt to point
the gun or fire the gun at arriving officers.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

042 Granite School 1 male 20 gauge 0 5 Morning NO - POSITIVE Suspect arrived in front of the school and began
Hills High aged 19. shotgun with (time firing a shotgun from the street at both specific
School, San birdshot, unsure). 2 BUT Rapid actions by and random targets. A SRO and another police
Diego, CA. several rounds officers very on-scene officers officer (on campus for an unrelated call)
fired. already on rapid neutralized the responded immediately to the sound of gunshots
the scene response active shooter and engaged the sus pect. One offic er fired
handled by SRO (unsure how many rounds fired), hitting the
immedia tely. and suspect twice (one in the buttocks and one in
patrol the cheek). Suspect was in custody before any
officer other officers had arrived.

043 Cal-Trans Workplac 1 male AK47 type 4 0 1509 hours. NO NO Suspect had been fired from Cal-Trans
maintenanc e aged 35 rifle, shotgun First officer sometime before this incident. Suspect drove to
e yard, and handgun. on scene Ongoing maintenance yard and shot his first victim with
Orange, CA Handgun not within 1 gunfight/chase a shotgun while the victim was still in his
used. Dozens minute. 4+ from the arrival of vehicle. The suspect then walked into the
of shots fired officers on the first officer. maintenance yard and fired dozens of rounds
with AK, 3 scene within from an AK-type weapon randomly at people
shots fired with 3 minutes. and blindly into buildings. The first arriving
shotgun. officer saw the shooter firi ng and exchan ged
rounds with the suspect, but neither of them was
hit. Suspect got into his vehicle and fled the
scene with arriving officers in pursuit. A short
distance from the maintenance yard, the suspect
got stuck in an intersection and a large gunfight
ensued. Seven police officers fired more than
500 rounds from handguns, eventually killing
the suspect. One officer was wounded by the
suspect dur ing this exch ange.

044 Jewish School 1 male unsure 1 5 Morning, NO NO Suspect entered a child car e center and open ed
Child Care aged 37 time unsure. fire with an unspecified firearm, wounding 5.
Center, Los 4+ officers BUT Gone on arrival Responding patrol officers made immediate
Angeles, on scene very entry into the center to find that the suspect had
CA within 5 rapid already fled the scene. While driving away
minutes. response from the first shootin g site, the susp ect stopped
by and shot/killed a postal worker he encountered.
patrol It took nearly two hours to determine that these
officers two shooting incidents were related. The
suspect eventually fled to Las Veg as, NV,
where he su rrend ered t o the FBI.

Case# Location Type Suspects Weapons Killed Injured Times RD Used? RD Make a Differenc e? Narrative

XXX Commercial Attempted 1 male 9mm handgun 1 2 YES NEGATIVE Two Glendale PD officers entered warehouse to
warehouse, Officer investigate the attempted murder of the
Los Rescue suspect’s common-law wife. When the
Angeles, manager escorted them into the warehouse area,
CA NOT AN the suspect opened fire with a 9mm pistol from
ACTIVE an elevated positio n. The lead detect ive went
SHOOTE down immediately with a head wound and the
R EVENT second detective exited the warehouse and
- BUT called for assistance. Officers rolled a flashlight
RAPID in the doorway of the warehouse in an attempt
DEPLOY to locate the downed officer and the suspect
MENT shot the lens of the flashlight. A 7 man rescue
TACTICS team was formed and entered the warehouse
WERE using suppressive fire directed at the last kno wn
USED location of the suspect. Two LAPD officers on
the rescue team were wounded by the suspect.
Additional officers laid down cover fire while
the 2 wounded offi cers were extr acted. K9
“Saber” was sent into the warehouse 2 times,
drawing fire both times but not being hit.
SWAT officers then en tered the warehous e,
deploying several diversionary devices, and
extricated the downed detective, taking fire
from the suspect, but suffering no casualties.
The SWAT officers returned fire during the
rescue. Attempts to negotiate with the suspect
met with no success. Chemical agents were
introduced into the warehou se, but produced no
results. SWAT re-entered the warehouse and,
after a lengthy search, found the suspect - dead
from a self-inflicted wound.

About School Safety Partners  
School Safety Partners ( is dedicated to creating long‐term funding partnerships to 
support school safety best practices. We are a facilitator of joint research projects, reaching out to the general 
public as well as stakeholders in the public, private, non‐profit, and academic sectors. Since our start in January, 
2008, our projects have addressed the legislative, training, compliance, funding, and public awareness sides of 
school safety. Here are some highlights: 

1. We created a reference library documenting all aspects of Colorado Senate Bill 08‐181, a first‐of‐its‐kind 
measure introduced by Senator Tom Wiens to modernize emergency planning in schools, so students, 
teachers, and first responders can act fast in an emergency. 

2. For the 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School tragedy, we produced the national media event, 
"Colorado Rising," focusing on the future of school safety in America, and our guests and speakers were 
covered by NBC‐TV, CNN, NPR, FOX, Oprah Radio, Channel One News, Associated Press, Reuters, the 
Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, German Public Radio, the Guardian, and dozens of 
other news sources.   

3. We assisted in the 2008 Symposium and the 2009 Symposium on the Prevention of School Violence at 
Johnson & Wales University, and in the tabletop exercises on interoperable communications conducted 
for these events by one of our partners, SchoolSAFE Communications ( 

4. We produced over 4 hours of video footage, with 2 video crews, covering a full‐scale active shooter and 
multi‐hazard school exercise that involved 18 agencies and over 1,200 persons, and tested interoperable 
communications in several school‐related settings. 

5. We co‐created the School Response Framework Fund in support of the National Incident Managment 
System (NIMS) and to help Colorado schools become NIMS‐compliant as quickly as possible. 

6. We also developed a virtual campus that schools can use as an online training site for their safety 
teams, and as an action center where schools can build strong relationships with community partners, 
or local responders. 

7. We have developed with ABC‐TV a nationwide community awareness campaign, giving recognition to 
educators as first responders, and calling for the creation of public‐private partnerships to make school 
safety sustainable in communities across America. 

8. We have also developed with the creators of the feature motion picture, "April Showers," the 
educational and school safety materials to accompany the film as it is released to the worldwide 
educational market.  

9. Other states have shown an interest in what we have done in Colorado about school crisis response, and 
for them we have designed webinars and information kits about improving school safety legislation and 
finding long‐term funding solutions. 

We hope that you find our information useful and our contacts productive. We invite you to explore all parts of 
our website, and also share with us your views, experiences, lessons learned, best practices, and innovations. 
Please visit us at and register online in order to access all of our sections. 
Registration is free.