Understanding why attacks occur and how to prevent a catastrophe in your workplace is vital to keeping your workplace safe. At the 2017 CWC and Risk conference experts from Riverside Community College District and County of San Bernardino come together to discuss what an active shooter is and why they do what they do, how to train your employees, and how to recover its operations after an event. The speakers include:
· Michael Simmons, Director, Risk Management, Riverside Community College District
· Robert Gunzel, Chief of Police, Riverside Community College District
· Ken Hernandez, Director of Risk Management, County of San Bernardino
Most shooters are not crazy
Most incidents do not involve people who snap
Most incidents involve careful planning and commitment
Most shooters have at least one specific target in mind
Targets violence incidents can be prevented
Shooters often believe they are doing the right thing
Symptoms of shooter behavior surfaces before most attacks
What is the shooter mindset?
Shooters are ENRAGED
Shooters are focused and driven toward their goal
Shooters believe the victim is the threat
Shooters have a mandate to destroy the threat
Shooters may want to be stopped by family and friends
Shooters want to be acknowledged for the incident
Shooters may be depressed or have mental health issues
Why does the shooter want to kill us?
Low capability for coping with rejection/criticism
Interprets criticism as a form of bullying or an attack
Belief they are the victim and should protect themselves
Sees murder as justifiable homicide/self defense
Supports the notion of justice through the death penalty
Belief they are judge, jury and executioner
Feel they have a moral imperative to impose justice
They externalizations their depression/rage feelings
Connects their depression to the target refuses to seek out mental health help
Deteriorates and spirals into unrecoverable tailspin
Planning the death of the target relieves their anxiety
They take comfort in the violent end game
How does a shooter progress to violence?
Series of negative events creates depression and rage
Events can be broken romances, work problems etc
Lack of steps to resolve anger worsens the situation
Shooter gravitates to people with like mindsets
Catastrophic events may expedite the process
Planning starts by moving through path of decision gates
Target is “acquired” and the “roadmap” is activated
Shooter behavioral checklist
Increased use of alcohol and or illegal drugs
An unexplained increase in absenteeism
Depression or withdrawal
Unprovoked, explosive outbursts of anger or rage
Threats or verbal abuses of coworkers and supervisors
Frequent vague physical complaints
Behavior suggestive of paranoia
Increased mood swings
How can we stop the shooter?
Decision gates can take time to pass through each gate
Shooter may transition back and forth
Complex plans may take more time to execute
Behavioral differences mark the transition between gates
Changes in behavior are obvious to friends and family
Informing the changes and symptoms are a recipe for disaster
Friends of past shooters admitted seeing drastic changes
7 Minutes to Live!
Minute 7 – first shots fired
- was that a car backfire?
- where did that sound come from?
- could that have been a gunshot?
- what should I do?
- Don’t assume someone else is going to call 9-1-1. You do it.
- now is not the time for social media.
Minute 6- What is happening?
- what is going on?
- what should i use to secure the door?
- who is in this room that can help?
- does this door open inward or outward?
- is there anyone in distress?
Minute 5 Sensory overload
- Close your eyes and imagine:
- gunfire sounds
- chairs, desks, and equipment moving
- shadows and smoky haze
- smoke alarms, fire sprinklers, and strobe lights
Minute 4 Help is outside now
- law enforcement has arrived
- a group of officers are putting on additional protective equipment”
- “hot zones” are being determined
- incident command post being established in the area
- other public safety agencies responding quickly to assist
- officers are moving in to stop the shooter
Minute 3 Help is onsite and close
- officers are quickly moving toward the sound of gunfire
- do exactly what the police instruct you to do
Minute 2 Threat neutralized
- secondary teams begin to enter the building
- searching for secondary devices or “layoff suspect”
- evacuation process begins, wounded first
- some wounded will be treated in place
Minute 1 Evacuation
- EMS performing triage/treatment in secure location
- investigation portion begins
- questions will be asked to determine identification and or motive of shooter
- counseling services being
San Bernardino Mass Shooting
Two shooters armed with AR-15 style assault rifles enter the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino and open fire on a group of San Bernardino County employees that were gather for training meeting and holiday luncheon.
14 people killed
22 people wounded
Determined to be a terrorist event
Suspects were killed by police
Police response was approximately 4 minutes
Crisis Communication Plan
The need to communicate is immediate (business operations interrupted, employees, family members, management, government officials, community outreach and news media). Employees accounted for by access to emergency contact information, office checklists, off-site event sign in sheets, employees in the field and employees out sick, on vacation, jury duty, etc