The FBI and ALERRT published an updated research piece on the statistics they have looked at regarding Active Shooter Events from 2000 to current. It changes slightly from the info published in May 2013, but still has good pertinent information for Law Enforcement and Citizen First Responders and Security alike.
Incidents are increasing. Handguns are the primary weapon in 60% of cases.
Schools make up 25% of incidents.
Businesses (Offices, Stores,Warehouses/Factories) make up 40%.
Shooters are becoming mobile, either by foot or vehicle. Active Shooter Events are not limited to just buildings, and outdoor events are identified in 1 event out of every 5.
There usually are between 2-6 victims in most cases. 7-11 is the next most common statistically. Of the 84 events identified, 12 involved from 12 to 70 victims. Those responsible for planning for events should use these numbers to get an idea of what resources should be needed when.
While perpetrators will overwhelmingly most likely be male (94%), it’s not absolute, and there is no standard profile of a shooter, contrary to popular belief that it’s the loner that was bullied in the school.
Officers have been having good response times for a lot of them, with a median response time of 3 minutes. That’s just for one officer sometimes, and the incident has continued on after the officer arrives in 51% of the events. The responding officer has needed to stop the attack in 1 out of 3 cases. There are too many LE that think the shooters kill themselves just because they arrive, so Officers don’t always face the facts they may need to still use deadly force.
Solo Officer responses have been seen in 18 incidents.
Tactics can’t just be trained once and then ignored. Things change, get updated, and LE agency heads and their Officers need to make sure they aren’t practicing what hasn’t been working.
A balance needs to be found with the need to search and secure the scene and to provide needed medical treatment for victims. More people need to get on the same page, plans need to be made, and agencies need to work together.
I’ve used the comparison that an Active Shooter is like a tornado, that can appear suddenly without warning to create destruction. Citizens should be aware of “Run, Hide, Fight” protocols, and LE should be looking for ways to provide this to their citizens.
Responses are continuing to evolve. Law Enforcement, EMS, and Citizen responses aren’t what they were a decade ago, and they will continue to improve and change.