Armed Response to Active Shooter Scenario Force on Force 25 February 2017

| March 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

Some of our most popular content is about how to respond to active murders / terrorists, how to avoid being mistaken as a bad guy by law enforcement / armed defenders, and how to discern who is a bad guy versus another good guy responding to an attack.

People who want to help officers in trouble are also concerned about being misidentified when additional help arrives.

We recommend post-encounter training like Mike Anderson’s Landing the Plane, the basic handgun / carbine / shotgun course from QSI Training, or similar programs that stress what to do after the shooting stops but before the police arrive.

Most of this training centers around making effective (and non-incriminating) 911 calls, and how to prepare for, and deal with, responding officers. In discussion and in training, there’s a “window” of time where the student can collect themselves and prepare their bodies and words for the cops.

But what happens when they show up immediately after the shooting is over?

Usually I discuss what I did right and what I would do differently next time.

I don’t think I would do anything differently. The most plausible and probable outcome for this exact situation is that I would get shot by a responding officer.

The first thing said to me after this scenario ended was, “freeze when the cops say ‘don’t move.'”

Given how fast things went down, I think that’s asking for the impossible. In less than one second, we must process a sound, its direction, overcome the natural inclination to orient towards that sound, recognize what is being said, determine that the source is authentic, and comply. All while we are under the stress of just having shot an armed aggressor.

Is it wise to train ourselves to drop our guns as soon as someone says, “POLICE?”

It was suggested that I take cover in one of the open rooms, but I have also been counseled not to enter unknown space. I could see up and down the hallway, and I was reluctant to pass over the body of the shooter, or turn my back. It would be interesting to see what would happen if I did turn around and had my pistol in Sul. Would it make a difference? What if I was in a retention position (muzzle angled forward)?

It is possible that I could have immediately reholstered, but how do I know the bad guy is truly down? We have seen a lot of footage (including the shooting of the St. Cloud terrorist by Officer Jason Falconer) where a person hit by multiple handgun rounds gets back up.

I showed this footage to several current and former law enforcement officers. They all agreed (individually) that this would be a “good shoot,” and that the actions by the roleplayer were valid. If an officer is responding to an active shooting call, and if they encounter someone with a tool, and that person turns towards them, expect the trigger to get pressed sooner than under almost any other circumstance.

I agree. Put yourself in an officer’s shoes. What would you do?

The entire scenario lasted 13 seconds. The “officer” arrived less than a second after my last shot was fired. The roleplayer stated “Police don’t mo-” and shot me in the next second. If you look closely at the chest cam (last bit of footage), you see that I’m dropping my handgun as I’m being shot.

To me, this scenario was a reminder that we may not get out alive. I wrote an article stating that there is always a risk, and if we intend to interdict a terrorist attack we may get hurt by the attackers, or by the defenders.

I will continue to do work on this topic, but this possibility is something we should all be aware of.

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About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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