Friday, September 16, 2011

Active Shooter Down Under

In April, 1996 an active shooter in Austraila murdered thirty-five people and injured another twenty-one people. The killer was captured by police after a long stand off. The active shooter killed two people at a hotel, then drove to a nearby tourist destination and murdered about thirty more innocent people. He then returned to the hotel, shooting people all the way back, kidnapped a man he later murdered. As police arrived he held them at bay for several hours. Eventually he set a fire that forced him to leave his hiding place and he was taken into custody.

Despite strict gun control laws, the suspect was able to obtain several firearms illegally and gather thousands of rounds of ammunition. His weapons included an AR-10 and AR-15. He did not have a driver license but did have a car and used it to carry him and his weapons to the site of his crimes. He was on a disability pension because he was mentally handicapped but was judged mentally fit to be tried. A civilian attempted to engage the suspect with his own rifle but before he could obtain and load the weapon the suspect had driven away. The suspect was a lone shooter with no religious or political agenda. The suspect was sentenced to thirty-five life terms, plus over a thousand years in prison.

An active shooter requires an immediate response. In this instance over 20 people were shot in less than two minutes. How long does is take for a call to come into your station and be broadcast to units in the field? Even a few seconds can make a big difference, in this instance the police were notified soon after the shooting but did not arrive on scene until almost thirty minutes later. The suspect was moving on foot an in several different cars so it was difficult to determine what was happening. Al Qaeda has been advocating the use of the active shooter for some time now. Is your agency ready? Are you ready? You better be ready; that’s what the SGT Says.

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