The United States Department of Homeland Security defines the active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a conﬁned and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.”
Active Threat’s are a stark reality of law enforcement today, and we have very little to prepare and protect us from these individuals and groups. Most incidents occur at locations in which the killers find little impediment in pressing their attack. Locations are generally described as soft targets, that is, they carry limited security measures to protect members of the public. Why aren’t these locations protected? Cost and availability of effective technology are two main reasons.
Active Shooter events never end with acceptable outcomes. In most instances, shooters commit suicide, are shot by police, or surrender when confrontation with responding law enforcement becomes unavoidable. According to New York City Police Department (NYPD) statistics, 46 percent of active shooter incidents are ended through the application of force by police or security; 40 percent end in the shooter’s suicide, 14 percent of the time the shooter surrenders and, in less than 1 percent of cases, the violence ends with the attacker fleeing.
It is clear that once an Active Shooting event is underway nobody wins. The key is to short circuit the event through prevention technologies and security protocols.