RICHMOND, VA –
Note: This training was held just a few days before active shooter situations in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left 31 people dead and more than 50 injured in less than 24 hours.
Nine people killed when a gunman opened fire inside a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Twenty students and six staff members killed after a 20-year old man shot them inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. A night of partying at Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida, turned tragic on June 12, 2016 when a man walked in and opened fire, killing 49 and injuring close to 60 more.
These are just a few examples of deadly active shooter situations in the United States since 2012. According to the FBI, between 2000 and 2015, 200 active shooter incidents occurred in the U.S., resulting in 375 people being killed and close to 400 injured.
August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month. In recognition, Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management’s Security and Emergency Services Division held Active Shooter Awareness training in Bldg. 46 on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, Aug. 1.
Don Bartlett, criminal intelligence analyst within the Security and Emergency Services Division and Russell Pitts, installation antiterrorism officer within the same division, conducted the training.
Bartlett was short and to the point with the audience of close to 30 people as to what he wanted them to take away from the session.
“We want you to leave here mentally prepared to deal with an active shooter situation,” he said.
Both Pitts and Bartlett stated Security and Emergency Services will collaborate with employees to develop strategies for work area defense, including the identification of escape routes and the formulation of action plans. They say such strategies always have a “layered” response, incorporating multiple escape, barricade and counter-offensive options for employees.
The Department of Homeland Security also has excellent resources to assist when developing your plan.
He said the primary responses to an active shooter include, but not necessarily in this order:
- Run: Plan multiple routes and don’t stop at just getting out of the building.
- Hide: Think up a “game-plan” on how to barricade yourself somewhere if evacuation is not possible. Your plan should include using cubicles, closets and open spaces.
- Fight: Attack hand-in-hand with the people around you in your work area. Fight in a collaborated effort, but be prepared to take individual action to save your own life when confronted by the assailant.
Bartlett said while knowing what to do in case of an active shooter situation is vital, he also stressed recognizing warning signs may prevent someone from carrying out an attack. He pointed to statistics from multiple studies conducted by the FBI and Department of Justice from 2000 – 2013 that stated 93% of attackers engaged in some behavior prior to the attack that caused others to be concerned.
Those behaviors included interest in active shooter incidents or killings, allegations of persecution or prejudice, aggressive behavior or threats, possession of unauthorized weapons, increase use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs, repeated violations of company policies, resistance and overreaction to change and depression and withdrawal.
“We all hate to think about a friend or co-worker being capable of wrong doing, but the reality is these very people are capable of inflicting this type of violence,” Bartlett said.
Michell Knight, a management assistant within DLA Aviation’s Engineering Directorate, was one of those who attended the training.
Knight said she came away from the training with a better understanding of the actions she should take in the event of an active shooter situation on DSCR.
“I feel like an active shooter is a very valid and present threat and can happen anywhere and at any time. It’s something we all need to be aware of,” she said.
The next active shooter awareness training will take place Aug. 27 from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Lotts Conference Center on DSCR.
Antiterrorism Awareness Month resources:
DLA iWatch video