The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 12, 2012, 01:25 PM   #1
Blade37db
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2005
Posts: 216
Active shooter scenario in a public place (Oregon mall)

Seeing one of my worst nightmare scenarios on the news yesterday (Oregon mall shooting) really has me thinking. I'll preface by saying that I read a Tom Clancy book a few years back (forget which one) and a part of it involved coordinated terrorist attacks (shooters) in shopping malls and it is always on my mind when I go to one. It's scary to think how vulnerable some soft targets are (malls, schools). Sounds like the tragedy yesterday was by a lone gunman and obviously we don't know why yet. That being said, I'd like to hear from those who have been trained (LEO, retired LEO) to deal with such situations their opinions about what a civilian CCW holder should/shouldn't do in such a situation (active shooter, public place).

Having never been trained (trust me, I'm seriously considering it now), my thought process would be: if I could not get out (including those with me) I would try to get myself (and others) into an area and take cover as soon as possible and take up a defensive position. Next would be to get on the cell phone and give 911 our location and description...including letting them know I was armed. All of this seems similar to what one would do should someone break into your house and escape were not possible.

I am well aware that being a civilian and seen in the open with a firearm is a recipe for disaster in such a situation (how would responders know I'm not involved?) but I would obviously want to protect myself and others should we have no other choice.

My question is: what else should (and shouldn't) be done if (god forbid) faced with such a situation?

Thanks.
Blade37db is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 01:32 PM   #2
RedBowTies88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2011
Location: 609 NJ
Posts: 705
Active shooter situation there will probably be no time to call the police. At least not while you're still in harms way.

If you and yours can likely get to saftey without becoming a target then do so... if not draw and fire to at the very least supress the gunman while you make your exit.

Every store in a mall has a door to the outside. run into the nearest storefront and out the back. The gunman will most likely be in a common area of the mall.
__________________
"...with liberty and justice for all." (Must be 21. Void where prohibited. Some restrictions may apply. Not available in all states.)
RedBowTies88 is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 01:40 PM   #3
youngunz4life
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2010
Location: United States of America
Posts: 1,877
Quote:
Having never been trained (trust me, I'm seriously considering it now), my thought process would be: if I could not get out (including those with me) I would try to get myself (and others) into an area and take cover as soon as possible and take up a defensive position. Next would be to get on the cell phone and give 911 our location and description...including letting them know I was armed. All of this seems similar to what one would do should someone break into your house and escape were not possible.

I am well aware that being a civilian and seen in the open with a firearm is a recipe for disaster in such a situation (how would responders know I'm not involved?) but I would obviously want to protect myself and others should we have no other choice.

My question is: what else should (and shouldn't) be done if (god forbid) faced with such a situation?
shoot and fire if necessary. chances are if you are unlucky enough to be in the situation you still will probably be lucky enough to exit the situation(retreat). be vigilant...it is always possible there are other assailants, so if you hear him down the next corridor don't assume you are in clear. also don't assume a civilian won't shoot you if you have a gun and are running or doing anything in the mall(even though you are friendly). don't worry about the cellphone; you will know if you need to draw and fight or of you can retreat.

don't try and be a leader with a bunch of strangers unless the situation obviously presents itself. people are going to panic, act in their own way, scatter, not listen to you, etc. worry about yourself and your family unless you can save a life.

this is all my opinion...you or someone else could agree or disagree

as a child I did picture these scenarios with my toygun that looked real. I am not joking...one too many dirty harry movies. I haven't been following this case, and I haven't pictured this scenario since I was little. You have a valid concern though. malls are a compact area with many exits and a madman can choose this for bodycount and escape routes. the loser might have nowhere else to go too but either way it is a sad story from Oregon...
__________________
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut @ Battle of Mobile Bay 05AUG1864
youngunz4life is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 01:42 PM   #4
zombietactics
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 7, 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade37db
... those who have been trained (LEO, retired LEO) to deal with such situations ...

This notion should be corrected at the outset. The overwhelmingly vast majority of LE have no specialized training in "dealing with" an active shooter.

This is no slight against our men/women in blue. It's just an outgrowth of the reality that LE will most likely NOT be on the scene until the event is over or nearly over.

Active shooters show a propensity for committing suicide as soon as:
  • Their objective (which may be as simple as "causing terror") has been accomplished.
  • There is active opposition or the sign of impending opposition. Often flashing lights or the sound of sirens is the cue to "end it".
Given that this is the case, no specialized training (for LE) even makes sense.
zombietactics is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 01:43 PM   #5
Nanuk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2005
Location: Where the deer and the antelope roam.
Posts: 1,709
Quote:
I am well aware that being a civilian and seen in the open with a firearm is a recipe for disaster in such a situation (how would responders know I'm not involved?) but I would obviously want to protect myself and others should we have no other choice.
That is where communication is key. It would be optimum to have someone inform the dispatcher that a Man/woman dressed so and so is engaging the BG. We all know the dispatch and the police do not want you involved, it is a risk. It has been shown that once someone engages the BG in these shootings they then turn their attention away from killing innocents.

Becoming involved in one of these situations is truly a Pandora's box, I however, cannot allow for the slaughter of innocents if I can do something to stop it.

Another question; Does you carry gun even give you the option of responding?
__________________
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
Nanuk is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 01:48 PM   #6
BarryLee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 29, 2010
Location: The ATL (OTP)
Posts: 2,771
Quote:
don't try and be a leader with a bunch of strangers unless the situation obviously presents itself. people are going to panic, act in their own way, scatter, not listen to you, etc. worry about yourself and your family unless you can save a life.
While it is difficult to anticipate ever scenario that could occur in general the above advice sounds pretty good.

A big concern for me is exactly how I handle my gun. Even if I’m not planning to engage the shooter I would want my gun in hand at the ready. However, as mentioned earlier what if another citizen or a LEO spots you after hearing the report of “Man with a gun” and engages you?
__________________
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman
BarryLee is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 01:52 PM   #7
Blade37db
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2005
Posts: 216
Thanks for the replies.
As I sent my original post I saw a press conference with the local authoritis in Oregon and the spokesman mentioned that they had an "acitve shooter protocol" that they had recently trained for at the same location as yesterdays incedent (I believe he said that).
I fully agree that standing by and not doing something is a horrible choice, but given the chaos of hundreds of people running around in a panic and not knowing what the "whole picture" is (ex. more than 1 shooter), is engaging (not in a defensive last resort position) the proper thing to do? Also, being mistaken as a particpant by another CCW holder or off-duty LEO is a real possibility.This is why I posed the question.

Last edited by Blade37db; December 12, 2012 at 01:58 PM.
Blade37db is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 01:53 PM   #8
youngunz4life
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2010
Location: United States of America
Posts: 1,877
barry, that is an extremely serious issue. as we know, law-abiding concerned citizens who carry a CCW might engage. even if you are just ordered to the ground both of you can be engaged by a shooter. the situation can be chaotic. like you said every situation is different, but unless you are actively engaging, being ready without gun drawn might be your best bet. I mean you might get shot exiting the mall too.
__________________
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut @ Battle of Mobile Bay 05AUG1864
youngunz4life is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 01:59 PM   #9
youngunz4life
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2010
Location: United States of America
Posts: 1,877
Blade, that will totally depend. I'll let others answer, but you must make that judgement yourself for various reasons: other innocent people in crossfire, how easy it is with the CCW you have like Nanuk said, whether you have family with you and you can retreat, and so-on....
__________________
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut @ Battle of Mobile Bay 05AUG1864
youngunz4life is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 02:51 PM   #10
jason_iowa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2011
Posts: 686
I spent hundreds of hours training on these kinds of situations not in malls but around the world in any setting. I have no problem with people who turn tail and run. I tend to carry a side arm that i'm comfortable shooting at a man sized target from some distance 50-100 yards. I'm also comfortable with trading my life to protect others. If you are not I suggest you get yourself and your family as far away from the shooter as possible.
jason_iowa is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 03:32 PM   #11
Blade37db
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2005
Posts: 216
Again, thanks for all of the replies.
I guess my original question really wasn't clear. This has nothing to do with what I could do (based on training, weapon available), want to do (my instinct, like others, would be to help) or should (ethically) do. Those decisions may vary based on the situation at hand and all of the variables that you guys have mentioned.
I guess I was trying to get a LEO's perspective as to what their thoughts are of a civilian CCW holder becoming involved in such a situation. Would it make it more difficult for them (assuming minimal communication)? What would they want a civilian CCW holder to do/not do should the civilian make the choice to become involved? Does their training account for such a possibility and how do they handle? Is a civilian allowed to assist or are they assumed a threat as well until things are identified and sorted out?
Like all of you, I would want to assist and hopefully stop such a terrible incident, but I would not want to make the situation worse for the professionals responding.
Blade37db is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 03:34 PM   #12
therealdeal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2010
Posts: 627
yes blade you weren't clear now you are saying something else lol but I get what you're saying.

nobody has authority over you just because they are "LE". you are allowed to respond during such a calamity
__________________
NRA Distinguished Life Member

"Abraham Lincoln freed all men, but Sam Colt made them all equal." (post Civil War slogan)
therealdeal is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 03:54 PM   #13
Conn. Trooper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 12, 2007
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 530
Speaking for myself, I would say there is no reason to stand there and get murdered. If you can intervene without making things worse, go for it.

Cops do train for active shooters, not as much as I would like sadly, but we do train. Thats the key word right there "Active Shooter". Meaning we are trained to run towards the gun shots, where the active shooter is. I can't see cops mowing you down if you are not shooting people or presenting a threat. We are going to be looking for the guy shooting people.

I would hope the perfect storm of the cops arriving right as you engage the bad guy (so it appears as if you are the shooter), may end in disaster. I don't know of any way to ID yourself as the "good guy" and not the "bad guy". It's a tough call.
Conn. Trooper is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 04:13 PM   #14
Glenn E. Meyer
Staff
 
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 15,792
A previous LEO poster mentioned to me a case in a PM where a husband heard his wife was in a mall with an active shooter. He drove up and with handgun in hand ran for the mall entrance. He was close to being shot by first responders but was lucky and brought to a stop instead.

Given police shoot undercover officers enough to make it a problem - it's a risk if you go in the run with a gun out in civies.

You need to decide your risk tolerance.

If you have a gun out, you have increased your chance being shot. Hey, in a FOF with officers, I was 'shot' just standing there with my hands up.

There's no right answer - just skills, mindset and the circumstances. You need to think through, coldly and rationally what you want to do given circumstances.
__________________
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc.
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...05_Feature.htm
Being an Academic Shooter
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...11_Feature.htm
Being an Active Shooter
Glenn E. Meyer is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 04:18 PM   #15
old bear
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 2009
Location: Not close enough to the beach
Posts: 1,166
First find the best cover you can for your family, friends, and yourself. Second if and only if you can get what you believe would be the chance to stop the fight with one shot take it. It would be best, for you, if you shot was fired from cover and hit the active shooter in the back.

Do remember if you were to take any action that harmed he active shooter there is a 80% + chance that you will be sued, either by the shooter or his "Loving family" who lost a good loving, Fill in the blank, who loved his, Fill in the blank, and was starting to turn his life around.
old bear is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 04:26 PM   #16
zincwarrior
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2011
Location: Texas, land of Tex-Mex
Posts: 1,282
A mall scenario is not particularly dangerous in the grand scheme of crazies going crazy. Its the absolute dream of escape routes. Small stores that may not have such an exit (I don't recollect if the tiny little clothing/shoe stores do but I would certainly think they have a back door into a back hallway for freight ala Terminator II style) will certainly have excellent hold up positions.
zincwarrior is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 05:24 PM   #17
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,152
Quote:
I'll preface by saying that I read a Tom Clancy book a few years back
Stephen Hunter covered this in a recent book as well, not my favorite of his by any means but still entertaining. As I recall, the hero managed to subdue one of the terrorists, made off with his AK and then found a potato to use as a silencer and took out a few more bad guys...

Last edited by spacecoast; December 12, 2012 at 06:59 PM.
spacecoast is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 06:16 PM   #18
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,504
My daughter was at that Mall, in fact her picture was posted all over the TV News (girl in the pet store).

She done good (what she was taught to do in HD), and she screwed up.

We (her brother and I) nagged her until she consented to get training and her CCW permit).

I went over her house (she lives alone), which is a pretty fancy large house. She has alarms and video cameras all over the place, There is a nice spot we picked where she can use her bed for cover, (and room for her 7 dogs). From there she via monitors can see throughout the whole house. She can tell if its LE or bandits coming to her bedroom door. The idea being she can use her cell phone to keep LE informed of any movement of bandits.

Any way, that's pretty much what she did in the Mall. They went to a storeroom/office location and could monitor by the store cameras who comes in if anyone, to the store.

The problem being, she left her gun in the car. She could have been in a safe position to wait it out and if she had her gun, to protect her self if bandits tried to enter. Also via the monitiors she could have seen if the police were entering if which case she could have gotten rid of the gun.

Anyway, one should have a gun just in case, but I highly recommend against going after the bandit except in last ditch efforts.

You don't know when the police are going to enter or someone else might have a gun thinking your are the bad guy.

I use to teach building searches to our dept, done a thousand of them, there are places you can be, that no one can get to you without you getting them first.

Best hunker down. Running like a bunch of sheep isnt any sort of defense what so ever.

Hunker down, stay quiet, and keep your gun in your pocket until you have no other choice. You dont' want the police to mistake you for the bandit.

A gun in the car is no better then no gun at all.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 06:45 PM   #19
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 1,652
Adding just a little bit of information.

Fictional Mall situations.
As has been mentioned both Stephen Hunter and Tom Clancy have done mall shooting plots.

Tom Clancy: Teeth of the Tiger
Stephen Hunter: Soft Target
DaleA is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 08:04 PM   #20
Buzzcook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,641
If you don't have the training, run and hide. If you do, communicate with the police.

Several years ago a young man became paralyzed because he tried to engage a mall shooter in the Seattle area. He should have run and hid.
In another instance an off duty police officer made sure his wife was on the phone with the responders, telling them where he was and what he was wearing.

Subjects like this are loaded with "ifs".

BTW the news mentioned that employees were trained to respond to this type of situation and that might have saved lives.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 08:08 PM   #21
ltc444
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2011
Location: Vernon AZ
Posts: 1,195
I once heard an assessment of the Paduka Kentucky school shootings. The assessment was done by a PHD in psychology from Arkansas College. He was also a retired Army Infantry LTC and and a combat veteran.

For those of you who do not remember this 1997 shooting, I have posted the following link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heath_High_School_shooting

The shooter fired 8 rounds and killed three and wounded five. All of the victims were moving. His actual shooting experience was minimal but, he had spent hours playing video games.

The LTCs major point was that in that situation running was what drew the shooters attention.

Based on his assessment, I think the best bet is to move away from shooting low and cautiously. Try not to draw attention to your self and chargees.

The advice about going into a store and using the back exit or a service entrance to evacuate is outstanding. If the attack is a coordinated terrorist action then the main exits will be covered by bg and or an IED.

If armed, I would (probably) not engage a shooter unless directly confronted.

If forced to confront a shooter(s), I would be in fear of the responding LEOs.

Some suggestions from our experienced LEOs on how to handle a post engagement would be good at this point.
ltc444 is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 08:17 PM   #22
SPEMack618
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2010
Location: Central Georgia
Posts: 1,476
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozzcock
BTW the news mentioned that employees were trained to respond to this type of situation and that might have saved lives.
Reports on the CNN website say that svral mall security guard reportedly ran up and down the mall telling people get down and shepherding them through exits.

While mall ninjas get a lot of grief here, that seems like a pretty good response from a group of guys armned with nothing more than radios and harsh language.
__________________
NRA Life Member
Big Sister: "You should be sponsored by Allen"
Me: "If you can't shoot good, at least look good walking to the firing line."
Big Sister: "Can you not afford a Pelican? Then buy an Allen gun bag."
SPEMack618 is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 08:35 PM   #23
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,980
If you don't have the skillset to shoot a moving target, at distance, while that moving target is surrounded by multiple, moving, screaming innocent others ... well, if you don't have the skills, don't make a mental plan that depends on you having those skills.

If you don't routinely carry a tool that would make that kind of shot possible ... again, if you don't routinely have that tool with you, don't make a mental plan that would depend upon you having that tool with you.

If you don't have the physical skills that would help you tackle and prevail against a healthy, adrenalized, aggressive young man, don't make a mental plan that depends on you having those skills.

If the thought of running away without doing something bothers you, and if you agree that these types of events are in fact possible, maybe it's time you did the work to get the skills you anticipate you might need in order to make that desire actually mean something.

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 09:43 PM   #24
Mezzanine
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 103
My primary goal would be to move people away from danger rather than attempting to neutralize a shooter(s). Only drawing my weapon if absolutely necessary to the safety of myself and others in my immediate surroundings. As the odds of a stray round hitting an innocent person are fairly high in such a populated area. As well as the danger of being perceived as a threat yourself by drawing your weapon. There is really no good outcome to such an event, only ones with less fatalities. My rifle without me is useless, without my rifle i am useless. Dont put yourself in unnecessary danger to be the hero. Regardless of how well trained you think you are, it is the hits that count, and any misses can result in civilian deaths. Weigh your options and remember you are also a civilian (most likely). Im not a police officer, my training was in Ft Benning and the Ranger in me tells me save who you can who you cant, you cant, may god be with them.

Also there is no amount of training to prepare you for the real thing, you think your ready until you deploy, then its a whole different game. Your training can teach you how to survive, but not how to thrive.

Last edited by Mezzanine; December 12, 2012 at 09:49 PM.
Mezzanine is offline  
Old December 12, 2012, 10:26 PM   #25
Tinner666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2012
Location: Richmond, Va.
Posts: 349
I hate to sound like a sheeple, but there is no 'real' planning for this case.
IMHO, it's like planning for a meteor strike. You'll either be in the right place to help somebody, be the target yourself, have the drop, or what have you.
We can only be aware of our surroundings at all times and hopefully be able to 'do' something correctly when/if the time comes because we're always running scenarios through our minds every time we go anywhere. I do, but I also know I'm a good tight friend of Murphy. I think we're bedfellows sometimes.
__________________
Frank--
Member, GoA, NRA-ILA, SAF, NRA Life Member
Tinner666 is offline  
Reply

Tags
mall , massacre

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13746 seconds with 7 queries