Rampage Killings, Active Shooters & Active Killers
An active shooter incident is one in which a gunman, is actively attempting to kill people in a populated location. The shooter’s goal is not to target just one specific individual (though in a workplace shooting or similar, where an ex-employee wants to assassinate a supervisor/manager, this may be one of the desired outcomes), but to kill as many people as they can. Active shooters are sometimes referred to as rampage killers, where they restrict themselves to one location and there is no “cooling off” period between their killings – a serial killer may target single or multiple victims, but will have periods of “cooling off” time between each incident/victim(s); this delay doesn’t exist in a rampage killing. Sometimes, a rampage occurs over multiple locations e.g. if a killer murders his family, goes to his place of work and commits a series of killings there, and then goes to a town center or shopping mall, and starts shooting there, where there is little/no cooling off time between each incident, these multiple shootings, will be classed as a spree killing. Some definitions of rampage and spree killings, require a certain number of dead and wounded, however it is often more practical to use these terms in a broader sense.
Although mass killings usually involve firearms, they don’t have to. On November 11th 2016, a Somali student crashed his car into a group of pedestrians on the Columbus Campus of the Ohio State University, hitting 6. He then preceded to go on a rampage armed with a butcher’s knife injuring 5 more. Fortunately, nobody was killed, however 11 were injured (one critically). The incident ended when a Police Officer shot the suspect, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, killing him. In this rampage killing, no firearms were used, the weapons of choice were a car and a knife – this is why we prefer to use the term active killer, rather than active shooter; as our tactics and training are (and need to be) effective against individuals using a variety of weapons, not just firearms.
The majority of active shooter/active killer incidents (60%) are over before law enforcement arrive, meaning that in most cases, the first responders to the event are those at the scene being targeted. 57% of incidents end with with the shooter committing suicide, surrendering, or fleeing the scene. Of the 43% of situations where force is applied, 16% involve unarmed civilians engaging with the shooter/killer. It is possible for unarmed citizens to successfully engage and tackle an active shooter (though this should always be seen as a last, rather than a first resort). In the 2011 Tucson shooting of Gabi Gifford, the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was hit over the head with a folding chair, and tackled to the ground by a 74-year old man, as he tried to reload his Glock 19, and then subdued by several bystanders. On the 21st of August 2015, three men tackled an active killer (using a knife, an AKM Assault Rifle and a 9mm Luger Pistol), on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris. One of them (Alex Scarlatos) realized that the gunman’s weapon had jammed, and yelled “Get him!”, to the other two, who promptly charged the gunman (Ayoub El Khazzani) down. This is not the only occasion in which weapon jams have created opportunities, both to evacuate, and to counter the shooter. On February 12th 2010, in a routine faculty meeting of the Biology Department of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Amy Bishop (who had just been denied tenure), stood up and started firing shots at fellow staff members; after several shots – at least 6 – her gun jammed, and a member of staff initiated a rush, that saw several members of the group drive Bishop out of the room, and block the door. Amy Bishop was arrested a few minutes later outside of the building, claiming the shooting had never happened. Despite how the movies depict firearms, they are machines with the propensity to go wrong.
In most active shooter/killer incidents, the majority of survivors, survive by evacuating the environment, rather than by tackling/countering the shooter (something that should only be attempted when all other options fail). Sometimes policies, such as the traditional school lockdown, instruct people not to evacuate, even when they have the chance e.g. in the Columbine School Shooting, those in the library were aware of a shooter(s) outside their room for 4 minutes and 10 seconds, before Harris and Klebold entered and started firing; there was another door through which they could have exited/evacuated before this happened, but both their teacher (Patti Neilsen), and the Police Dispatcher she was talking to, were following traditional lockdown procedures, and were telling everyone to stay down and hide under the desks. They were sitting ducks when Harris and Klebold finally entered. Active Shooter/Killer training should empower those in an incident to implement a variety of strategies and tactics that increase their survival chances, not restrict them to outdated and outmoded ideas.
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Krav Maga Yashir Boston
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Krav Maga Yashir Boston
Charlestown Maritime Ctr (3 FL)
Tel: (339) 224-8005
Our Active Shooter Courses & Training are run at our 16000 sq ft training facility
in Boston, Massachusetts. We train scenarios, using inert weapons, and airsoft pistols/guns
to replicate scenarios. We also provide on site training at schools, educational facilities,
places of worship and workplaces etc. If you are interested in seminars, courses and on-going
training either at our location or yours, please contact us by
Free Active Shooter Video
With Gershon Ben Keren
This is a short 10 minute video looking at some simple ways to actively counter, an active shooter should you find yourself dealing with such an incident. The solutions presented are deliberately simple and straightforward, and ones that can easily be learned and applied from watching a video. Some straightforward solutions are also put forward as to how to increase your survival chances. The solutions described in this video, make up a very small and specific part of countering and dealing with active shooter incidents, and should not be taken as a comprehensive approach to dealing with such killers. To watch this free 10 minute video, please click here.
"Krav Maga - Real World Solutions To Real World Violence" is an Amazon Best Seller, which provides an honest and unfiltered look into how real-life attacks and assaults occurs, and how to identify, avoid, predict and prevent them, or as a last resort physically deal with them. Techniques were filmed, in the locations where such attacks are likely to be committed rather than in a gym or studio. The techniques demonstrated were all filmed in real-time, so none of the photographs were staged as stills. To read more and see sample chapters please click here.
"Krav Maga: Tactical Survival" looks at a variety of different scenarios to those presented in, "Real World Solutions To Real World Violence", as well as variations that an attacker can make to change the solution required. Although a follow up book, and already an Amazon Bestseller, it stands alone as a distinct work looking at particular forms and types of violence. To read more, and view sample chapters please click here.