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Michael Rust
Michael Rust's picture
Active Shooter Booklet

Here is a very good booklet on how to deal with an Active Shooter Situation from the Dept of Homeland Security in the US. The very last tip after running and hiding is to fight. How many people have though about how they would fight and train for an active shooter ? I would love to hear your suggestiond or drills for my own practice.




Wastelander's picture

For fighting back in active shooter situations, I have found Alon Stivi's material to look pretty good, although it's mainly geared toward untrained people:

Now, I haven't personally done any of his seminars on this, nor do I have any other training for active shooter situations, but it seems solid. I mean, you're in a pretty dead-end situation if an active shooter enters the room you're hiding in. At that point, you probably don't have much to lose by fighting. I like the fact that he incorporates teamwork as a vital aspect of stopping the attacker, as well as using items and the environment to your advantage.

Scott McCallum
Scott McCallum's picture

I am a police officer with a municipal Canadian police force (following 17 years of UK policing) and we train for dynamic entry into active shooter scenarios, that being said I presume you are looking at training for the students/targets, not for interception by other agencies...what follows is my own rambling opinion and not in any way endorsed by any of my current or previous employers....

This is an interesting video....There will be those that comment about how the training puts young people in harms way, but they fail to appreciate that offender profiles show that for active shooters, the only thing that interests them is high body counts, there is no negotiating with them or trying to bluff them...many of them expect to die and are only interested in logging up as many kills as possible.

I would recommend Dave Grossman (of sheep, sheepdogs and wolves fame) works...'On killing' and 'How we are teaching our kids to kill.' (or similar..i dont have it to hand atm.) as an insight into the psycology of active shooter situations....

The only problem with this training is that it requires acedemic institutes (as many occur in schools) to recognise and accept the need for it, without bowing down to the ....'this class scared my little johnny'...mentality of some parents. Remember some wont vaccinate their kids against measles....what chance is there of them 'vaccinating' their children against real world violence.

Another danger is that many active shooters in educational facilities come from the ranks of the very students you are training so whatever tactics you train are likely to be known then to the offender as well as the targets...but that being said...

Breaking line of sight is crutial.  The heightened state of arousal in your offenders is likely to result in possible tunnel vision and target fixation so coming from the sides is important.

As with karate, moving off the offenders centre line of attack requires them to re aquire targets etc, all which takes up valuable time.

As far as physical responses go, keep it simple.  The students are unlikely to remember advanced tactics when they are likely to be in code black.

a short mnemonic that can be used and repeated in the training like, and bear with me as i'm just thinking out loud here

E. Evade.....this should be primary....hide, escape...if they cant see you they cant target you....a silent locked classroom with the lights out is a poor target to someone who just wants to kill as many as they can and move on.  indicators that there are numerous people with in will draw them like a magnet.

X. eXtreme.  Any physical response must be overwhelming....if shots have been fired there is no time for anything other than repeated, simple overwhelming violence until the threat has been neutralized.

I. Improvise.  Thrown items can be used to disorientate and change an attackers mind set. Chairs, hard drinks containers, glass bottles, room equipment.  train to look at your environment to assist you.

T. Total.  There are no half measures.  The students must appreciate that things are going to be loud, messy and people are going to get hurt but that the only way to protect themselves and those around them is to keep going until the threat is over.

I think a more important issue maybe looking at having some personal imput on your local laws to educate students into what their local laws allow them to do in defence of their person so that they will have the confidence to defend themselves without fear of legal repercussions.

In closing...just my two cents worth but I do feel that making our educational instutes 'hard targets' is the way forward, but it does run counter to the more liberal mind set usually found in that career.

Oh and if someone makes a fortune with the EXIT strategy mnemonic (you know..it does have a ring to it with the added byline of "one of you is leaving intact...make sure it's you".....let me know...you owe me a beer...:)