These notes are from the “Active Shooter” presentation given by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department on 19th day of February 2018 at the Ohmann Theater in Lyons New York for all churches of Wayne County. Over 700 in attendance.
What is an "Active Shooter”?
a. An active shooter is triggered by something that sets them off.
b. They have a pre-planned what they want to do and will execute it.
c. They are helpless and want to payback (get revenge).
d. They will not be captured.
e. They usually commit suicide and don’t want to be taken alive.
f. If they chicken out to commit suicide by themselves, they will force a law enforcement office kill them instead.
g. An active shooter will not negotiate or give demands.
h. Many of the active shooters leave messages, blogs and manifestos for others to read.
How Long Does an Active Shooter Go on a Rampage?
a. Most active shooters are finished with their killing spree in 6 minutes. (There have been a few up to 10 minutes).
b. Many active shooters act alone. Multiple active shooters do happen but far less than single active shooters.
What is the Active Shooter Looking For?
a. A active shooter is looking for a crowd of people that are bunched together.
b. The active shooter will start to shoot towards the middle of a room making it easier to kill more people in a fast way.
c. If the shooter isn’t threatened, he may walk around and shoot towards exits of where people are trying to escape.
d. In a live active shooter situation, most people will sit there in shock.
e. Active shooters may use bombs, gas, smoke to disorient people so that they may become confused or taken over by the agent so that they won’t be able to escape.
What Types of Places do Active Shooters Look For?
a. They look for a rich environment target (lots of people gathered together).
i. School Buses
J. Malls and Shopping Centers
The Active Shooter Wants to Make a Statement. They Want to be Noticed and Show What They can do. "I’m in charge attitude"
Department of Homeland Security Video
Run – Hide – Fight an Active Shooter -
a. Try to get out as fast as the situation starts.
b. Move quickly and quietly.
c. Don’t worry about your personal belongings.
d. When you are in the clear, call 911.
a. If you can escape, find a hiding place.
b. Turn your phone off.
c. Lock doors and turn off the lights.
d. Stay calm.
a. By yourself or with others, make a plan of attack.
b. Stay calm and focused.
c. Be active in your engagement.
When First Responders get there, they are looking for the Active Shooter and will pass by those that have been victimized. They will return when they capture the Active Shooter.
things you you should do.
a. Look for exits. Know where they are.
b. Sit close to an exit.
c. Know where there are escape windows, staircases, and elevators.
d. If you get up to escape, do not hesitate or delay. Delaying will increase your risks of death.
e. Use anything you can find to use as a weapon.
f. Engage the shooter at the right moment.
Active Shooter Law Enforcement Response.
a. Many different agencies will show up. (Police, Fire and EMS)
b. Keep your hands out and don’t move fast. This might spook the officer.
c. Don’t move quickly. Keep your hands high and fingers spread apart.
d. Do what the office says. Do what you are told.
What will Happen When the Law Enforcement Officers come?
a. Guns will be pointed at you.
b. You might be handcuffed.
c. Law Enforcement may use smoke bombs to gain entrance.
d. Officers will not help anyone until the active shooter is captured. Once he or she is captured, and all is clear, they will come back to help those that are hurt. EMS will then begin to treat the injured.
What do the Police Want Me to Do?
a. Update them will any information.
b. Give them the floor plan of the building.
c. Tell them the last place you heard or seen the shooter.
d. Don’t talk to the media.
What can I do to Prepare?
a. Have a plan whenever you go out.
b. Make good Choices.
C. Stay away from troubled places.
d. Take action.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE WAYNE COUNTY SHERIFF BARRY C. VERTS
a. When you start your worship service, cut the access to the church to 1 door being unlocked.
b. Review what door would be the best to give the members time to get out quickly.
c. At the door that is unlocked, place a person there to watch those coming in.
d. The person watching the door should have some type of way to inform those that are in the building.
e. Someone should monitor the building and parking lot during services.
f. Pay attention to your surroundings. Watch for strangers, strange vehicles, things out of place, and odd behavior.
g. If you see something strange, call 911 immediately.
h. Stay on the phone with 911.
a. Get out or retreat away from the threat.
b. Put items in between you and the threat.
c. If someone breaks in your home and you can't get out retreat by securing yourself in a room and place furniture in front of the door to make it harder for them to gain access.
d. If you have an upstairs, retreat there and hide in a room where you can barricade yourself in.
e. Turn as many lights off as you can.
f. Carry your car keys with you as often as you can. The "panic" button can be used to scare or deter the invader. You might want to tell your neighbors that if they hear your car alarm goes off that there is trouble at your home and they should call 911.
Going to a Place with A lot of People.
(schools, stores, churches, concerts, any large gatherings etc.)
a. Know where you are going.
b. When you get there, look for exits.
c. Look for places to be able to hide if you are not near an exit.
d. Create a plan of how to get out of the building you are in.
e. Have a family code word. This will alert your loved ones to know that there is a serious situation brewing.
f. If you can't get out, plan to fight back by using all your energy and items you can find to help you take out the shooter.
1. Schools in New York are asked to do 4 Active Shooters drills a year and 4 fire drills.
2. The Sheriff recommends that any congregation, including churches, should drill once a year and or be briefed once a year on how to get out of the building.