21 January 2011
AntiTerrorism Spotlight
Responding to an Active Shooter incident

By Karen Sims

USAG Antiterrorism Officer

 In light of recent events around the country, this issues focus is on Active Shooter incidents and how to respond during an event.

 An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly.Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims.

Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

When an active shooter is in your vicinity:

1. EVACUATE.
Have an escape route and plan in mind.  Leave your belongings behind and keep your hands visible.

2. HIDE OUT.
Hide in an area out of the shooter's view.  Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
Silence your cell phone or pager.

3. TAKE ACTION.
Take action as a last resort and only when you life is in imminent danger.  Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.  Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.

4. CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.
When Law Enforcement arrives, remain calm and follow instructions.  Put down any items in your hands (e.g. bags or jackets). Raise hands, spread fingers and keep your hands visible at all times. Avoid quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety. Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling. Do not stop to ask officers for help or directions when evacuating.

 You should provide the following information to Law Enforcement or 911 operators:

* Location of the active shooter
* Number of shooters, if more than one
* Physical description of shooter/s
* Number and type of weapons held by the shooter/s
* Number of potential victims at the location

An active shooter may be a current or former employee.
Alert your chain of command if you believe an employee exhibits potentially violent behavior.

Indicators of potentially violent behavior may include one or more of the following:

* Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
* Unexplained increase in absenteeism, and/or vague physical complaints
* Depression/Withdrawal
* Increased severe mood swings, and noticeably unstable or emotional responses
* Increasing talks of problems at home
* Increase in unsolicited comments about violence, firearms and other dangerous weapons and violent crimes

The Antiterrorism Level 1 training contains a section on active shooter.

The training, which is an annual requirement, can be found at: https://atlevel1.dtic.mil/at/

If you would like a copy of the Department of Homeland Security's Active Shooter - How to Respond manual contact the Antiterrorism Office at (301) 619-3446, or email USAGANTITERRORISM@AMEDD.ARMY.MIL.

Posted by PAO

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