Active Shooter and 4th/5th Generation Warfare How to minimize loss of life as crime and terrorism blend A Resource for Law Enforcement
Credits People: Chief Bert DuVernay, Sergeant Michael Conti, John Giduck, Colonel Thomas Hammes, LTC Dave Grossman, John Holschen, Captain Al Sharon, Chuck Remsberg, Chief Richard Fairburn, Todd Rassa, Lt. Frank Borelli, Paul Howe, Nick Minzghor, Keith Jones, Sgt. Allan Garcia, Dr. Laurence Miller Organizations: PoliceOne.com, LAPD, AIS/Prism, NTOA, ILEETA, IL SP Academy, NC DOJ
Purpose The purpose of this resource is to: • Familiarize law enforcement officers and command staffs about trends in active shooter/terrorist events • Help them to understand the nature of emerging threats • Suggest plans and training that will minimize the loss of life in these events This resource is not meant as training in and of itself. Training for these events is a complex endeavor in which there is no substitute for hands-on work. There are many good organizations that can provide such training. We aren’t trying to tell you how to train and plan, but rather what to plan and train for.
How to use this resource There is a lot of information here! In some cases you may want to use this as a presentation as it is, but in most cases you will probably want to use this file as a resource as you construct your own material for a specific audience. Cut, paste and modify slides and the information on them as you wish.
Part 1 Active shooter as we know it A review of basic principles and issues
What is an active shooter? A situation where one or more people are in the process of causing death or injury or posing an immediate danger thereof • Not a hostage situation • Not a stand off • Not a barricaded perpetrator • But can transition to one of these
What’s different about it? • Danger is immediate • Cannot wait for SWAT • Must act now to save lives • A “come as you are” affair for responders • Weapons, equipment, skills, mindset, physical condition • You have less than a minute to act • You’re it! This is what they pay you for!
Rapid Deployment response • The Rapid Deployment (R/D) active shooter response came out of the Columbine tragedy • Pre Columbine, post SWAT: establish perimeter and call SWAT • Post Columbine: neutralize the threat • Theory originally out of LAPD/NTOA • Many variations on the theme exist today
Active Shooter priority change Normal LE priorities • Officer safety • Hostage/public safety • Perpetrator apprehension • Perpetrator safety Active shooter LE priorities • Neutralize perpetrator • Hostage/public safety • Officer safety • Perpetrator safety
Rapid Deployment concept • Imperative: • Stop the violence NOW • Theory of operation: • Enter structure with minimally safe team • Move quickly to sounds/source of violence • Search only when source of violence unknown • Move past victims and threats (IEDs, etc.) • Engage and neutralize perpetrators
Responding to scene • Describe situation to dispatch • Position vehicle to take in information and communicate with facility authority- preplan who that is • Activate ICS • Wait for more officers?
Ideal situation • First officer on scene is initial commander • Has most information • Directs other responding units • Hands off command to supervisor • Entry team(s): 4 officers • Larger buildings have multiple teams enter different entrances (note comms issue) • Rescue team: 4 later-responding officers • Ad-hoc ICS-commander outside • Everyone can communicate with each other
Reality • It may be you or 2 of you • You can’t wait for ICS or supervisor • Your radio talks to whomever it does • No rescue team • Chaos will reign • Your Job 1 is to neutralize the perpetrator
Moving to structure • Do not be in tight formation • Spread out patrol-like • Utilize cover and leapfrogging • Do you know how? • Maintain areas of control with muzzle • No hard rules • Form up at breach point
Movement formations • Most R/D instruction is based on officers moving through the structure in one or more teams of 4 officers • Most R/D instruction spends most of its time on teaching officers to move effectively as a team, either searching as they go or moving to the sound of gunfire • A lot of emotional energy is spent defending one movement formation vs. another
4 officer movement • Diamond formation • Looks cool, military like • Front officer exposed going by doors • Often falls apart at corners • Most everyone moves into a T anyway • T formation – probably the best of a bad situation • Long gun ideally at front center and rear • Team leader • In center or at wing • Designates a comms officer
Diamond formation Direction of travel = officer
T formation Direction of travel = officer
1-2 officer movement • Fewer officers = more risk • You go with what you have • “Formation” is fluid and dependent on environment • All officers need to have basic searching/clearing/movement training… • Both alone and as part of a team
Principles, not specific tactics • Use normal building clearing techniques when searching • Only faster • Structure movement principles • Muzzle orientated to general area of danger • All areas of responsibility (AOR) covered • Scan areas as you pass them • ALWAYS with a high or low ready—muzzle not pointed at innocents! • T intersections: wings pie both ways; lead pies in direction of travel • X intersections: make a choice! • Stairs: normal clears for type • Emphasis on flow and speed
Room entry principles • Stack if door open • Wings enter or wing/point entry • Door closed: get one PO to try door knob • Pie through door glass if you cross • Entry • Structured: criss-cross vs. button hook • Unstructured: whatever the other officer doesn’t do • Maintain AOR • Drive to corners (often advisable) • Triangulate on suspect • Speed: AVOID FATAL FUNNEL
As you move • Students/workers will be running past you • Detain them and gather intel • Where? How many? Race? Sex? Weapons? Clothing? • Pass by injured, dead and dying • Might be your friends, relatives, or even children • Pass by IEDs • Sprinklers will be spraying, noises will be loud, chaos will be everywhere • Focus on your goal • Communicate your progress
Contact team • If bad guys are shooting, you know where they are – move to them quickly • Bypass other rooms and areas • If they are not shooting A. Use your intel (verbal, visual, radio) to move quickly to them, or B. Slow down and do quick entries/searches as you move • Challenge or engage when you encounter them • If life not in imminent danger, transition to SWAT mode
Rescue team • Follows entry team • Removes victims (including officers) • Must be capable of becoming contact team if perpetrators encountered • Fire/EMS personnel rescue team issues • Non-sworn • No tactical skills • No training • Armed? • Not likely to enter an un-secured area anyway • TEMS exceptions
Typical movement mistakes • Not moving smoothly • Getting too tense • Moving too fast; moving too slow • Failing to communicate with each other • Every officer trying to command the team • Moving into each other’s line of fire • Not maintaining areas of responsibility • Breaking role • Training is the key!
Non-active shooter events • Life NOT in imminent danger • Isolate and contain subject • Call in specialized resources • Use the 4Cs: Contain/Control/Communicate/Call SWAT
Multiple jurisdictional response Issues to be sorted out AHEAD of time: • Notification mechanism • Command structure • Communication capability • Legal agreements/MOUs • Tactics commonality • Roles and responsibilities • Joint training exercises • And so on…
To ponder… • “In SWAT, making entry is the last option. In R/D, we’re asking minimally trained officers to use SWAT’s last option as their first.” • These skills are perishable. Do you have a policy and schedule for regular training? • Do other responding agencies?
R/D largely untested R/D used but few times. Out of 80 active shooter events from 1966-2003, 44 had detailed info*: • Southfield, MI – R/D positive outcome • Williamsport, PA – moot outcome • Bethel, AK – R/D positive outcome • LA, CA – negative outcome – friendly casualties • Spokane, WA – R/D positive outcome (POSA source) *Rapid Deployment as a Response to an Active Shooter Incident, Illinois SP Academy, Richard Fairburn, 2003
ISP study* conclusions • Most incidents over by the time first officers on scene • Immediate action by on-scene officers most likely to have positive effect • But SROs not usually chosen for their “warrior” qualities • Israel had similar problems • They arm the population • They arm the teachers • Schools are no longer targets • R/D success chances heightened by rifle *Rapid Deployment as a Response to an Active Shooter Incident, Illinois SP Academy, Richard Fairburn, 2003
Since 2003 • Multiple active shooter incidents per year, including Virginia Tech (VT) • In most, all killing was done before the first officers got to the scene
Implications of the data • Training in Rapid Deployment/Active Shooter tactics, while necessary, is unlikely to minimize loss of life • The most important thing you can do to save lives is pre-event work with facilities, so that they take action immediately to execute their plan (details later in this resource)
Prepared school staffs the keycourtesy of School Violence Solutions www.schoolviolencesolutions.com • The truth is the educational staffs can do more to mitigate the loss of life than the police, due to being on scene when the shooting starts • The need for training the educational staff in every school in how to recognize, react to and prevent active shooter events is CRITICAL • Passing out a comprehensive school safety plan to school staffs is simply not enough preparation/training for an active shooter event! • Training EVERY member of the school community is paramount!
The Rhode Island modelcourtesy of School Violence Solutions www.schoolviolencesolutions.com • Governor’s Statewide Steering Committee formed • Curricula created to instruct educational staffs statewide • Multi-media learning modules are given to hundreds of educators throughout the state during six training sessions • Schools are now mandated to perform lockdown drills and training. Sanctions apply if not performed • Additional training for teachers and staff in schools continues
Part 2 Active shooter as a terrorist event Where we’re headed
Crime to 4th gen. warfare • Until now in the U.S., active shooter incidents have been crimes perpetrated by individuals for their own purposes • But future active shooter incidents will include persons perpetrating 4G and even 5G warfare
What is 4G warfare? One definition (there are many): “The loss of the state's monopoly on war and on the first loyalty of its citizens, and the rise of non-state entities that command people’s primary loyalty and that wage war. These entities may be gangs, religions, races and ethnic groups within races, localities, tribes, business enterprises, ideologies—the variety is almost limitless” William S. LindStrategic Defense Initiative
Warfare generations There are several different schemes that divide history into generational periods of warfare, and these schemes often differ in the characteristics of warfare that they use to define its generations. What follows is one popular scheme, provided for context.
1G to 3G Warfare • 1st Generation Warfare-up to WWI • Armies fought attrition-based battles at close range with individual and squad-level weapons (cannons) • 2nd Generation Warfare-WWI • Armies fought attrition-based battles at close range with large-scale weapons support (chemicals, bombs, etc.) and mechanized transport (e.g., railroads) • 3rd Generation Warfare-WWII • Large-scale maneuvers (e.g. the blitzkrieg) • Long range weapons targeting enemy infrastructure
4th generation warfare • Carried out by small cells that blend with the population—not by armies • Fundamentally a political endeavor • Seeks to destroy the will of the enemies decision makers—not to defeat its military • Examples: Mao, al-Queda; I.R.A.; Sandinistas • Terrorism is a tactic of, not a synonym for, 4GW • Co-opting the media is a crucial element of 4GW
5th generation warfare There are many different definitions of 5th generation warfare, but they all agree that actions undertaken by individuals of their own initiative will be a salient characteristic of it. That is the important attribute of 5GW for our purposes.
4/5GW and active shooters • Active shooter tactics are essentially the same as terrorist tactics: kill a lot of innocent people indiscriminately • But a 4/5GW terrorist incident will be better planned and resourced than a lone (or a couple of) active shooter(s)
Self-deployment (5G warfare) examples • MD / VA snipers • LAX / El Al incident on 7-4-02 • Richard Reed (the “Shoe Bomber”) • Vehicle attack at UNC-Chapel Hill, 3-3-06 • Seattle shootings, 7-28-06 • Vehicle attacks in SF-Fremont area, 8-29-06
What to expect? • Our enemies freely tell us what they are planning and want to accomplish! • We have merely to pay attention… • And come out of denial • Most public officials have taken a “downplay, deny and deflect” position
Captured al-Queda tapes • Produced for internal use, not propaganda • Included: • Live-fire room entry • Live-fire/role-player scenarios • Any resistance was met with being shot • Assassination scenarios • Kidnapping training • No presumed compliance from victims • Explosives planting • Prisoner handling: search, control and execution
al-Queda tapes (2) • Commands given in English • Prisoners begging for their lives in English • Distraction devices preceding entry • Multiple breach points • Targeting LE officers in ambushes using “disabled” vehicle as ploy, then sounding horn to initiate assault • Scenarios on 6-lane highways at clover-leafs (to facilitate exfiltration) • There are few such highways in the Middle East
al-Queda tapes (3) • Security/overwatch elements to shoot responding LE • Residential and golf course assassinations • Use of storm drains and sewers for exfiltration • Much practice on assault of buildings with a large number of occupants, including inconspicuous movement to entry points (weapons hidden) • Anyone giving any trouble at all is shot • Executing hostages in front of the media • Often no exfiltration plans for buildings – they plan to kill everyone and die in place
Take-home lesson While terrorist plans for large-scale events including WMD are certainly in place… They are preparing smaller-scale attacks by small groups with various small arms and planted explosives in populated buildings, particularly schools
Why schools? • Our Values • The most sacred thing to us are our children • Killing hundreds of children will boost the terrorist’s morale and lower ours, leaving us stunned • Our Lack of Preparation • Police deal with crime, but school attacks are war acts • Police are generally not prepared • Society hasn’t come to grips with terrorism on U.S. soil
Why schools? (2) • al-Qaeda has said they have the right to kill millions of American children • al-Qaeda terrorists have been video-taped practicing school takeovers and issuing commands in English • Some Islamic religious literature condones killing children if it is done for the “general good” • Target scouting and infiltration efforts have already reportedly occurred