How to be seen as GG at a mall shooting

This is a discussion on How to be seen as GG at a mall shooting within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I think it would be savy only to unholster if the threat is inmediately on range, open fire if you must and reholster as soon ...

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Thread: How to be seen as GG at a mall shooting

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    I think it would be savy only to unholster if the threat is inmediately on range, open fire if you must and reholster as soon as the target is down - in my opinion the time your firearm is unholstered with you displaying no uniform/badge/ID is the most dangerous of all.

    If halted by LE on the process, do not move, pivot, step off, walk, wave arms, yell thats him!, etc, if you don't want to get pumped with lead. Slowly, like in slow motion / military funneral slow, put your firearm down while stating you have a permit to carry and warn the officer the BG is at your inmediate front/left/right/etc (that way he knows theres someone else he needs to keep an eye on.

    In these events a good quality holster, spare mags, and other stuff you carry, and that can be clearly seen, may cause responding LE/Security to think you are off-duty LE and not shoot you without doing the IFF.

    Just my thoughts.

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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    If you must engage, dial 911 if you have time, but constantly yell, "Drop the weapon!" Repeat this. Just keep it up.

    Police use this phrase and it's likely to give them pause before they drop you, and you may not be killed by friendly fire.

    Incidently, do you practice this at the range? If not, I'd suggest doing it. Drop your voice two octaves and yell, "Drop the weapon!" and "No, back (or back off)!" before you fire. I've seen Mas Ayoob tell his readers to yell to the attacker that "I'm in fear for my life, I have a gun, and I will shoot." While I respect the man, I think that's quite a mouthful to spit out during a high tension situation.

    Whatever you do, do not holster unless told to do so (you'll likely be told to put the weapon on the ground). Reholstering can look an awful lot like drawing when an LEO is stressed.

    Josh <><

  4. #18
    Member Array vinnie's Avatar
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    Some good ideas here. I like Robin Hood's ideal to call 911 and leave them on the line. I would most likely not draw if LE was approaching. If they were on the way and not there yet, I would most likely draw, fire, and reholster before LE arrived on scene (draw, fire fast and get BG down), if LE approached right after I shot, I would hold my hands up in plain sight and move slowly and do exactly as the LEO said. If for some reason I were to draw and not able to get the shot off before LE arrived I would follow LEO orders and hope they have the BG covered in case he makes a move. Having said that, if you are covered by the LEO and BG then you are in a very bad position with slim chances. If you move, then the LEO will most likely shoot you, If you do not move it is very likely the BG will shoot you. Hope you would have your lucky rabbit's foot on you that day...

  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cagueits View Post
    In these events a good quality holster, spare mags, and other stuff you carry, and that can be clearly seen, may cause responding LE/Security to think you are off-duty LE and not shoot you without doing the IFF.
    LEOs here would these make a difference in your mind verse a cheap Uncle Mikes style holster? If the holster is an IWB would you even be able to Identify it as being there as well would you be able to see a mag holder in this kind of situation?
    Mark

    "The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."

    -James Earl Jones

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    To the specific thought that you may be mistaken as a BG:

    If the conditions warranted, I just might start acting like an LEO. If they want to prosecute me for impersonating an LEO, at least I'll be alive to defend myself. I think most LEOs will give you a little more leeway if you claim to be one. Not much, but a little bit. And since I really used to be one, I can always say I was acting on my previous training and concern for the public safety.

    I'm going to make a poll out of a new thread on this topic. Beating a dead horse, but I'd like to see everyone's opinions expressed numerically.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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  7. #21
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    OK, I am a bit confused here. Is the Police/Armed Security visible when the event happens? If so drawing your weapon is a no-no, you will get tagged IMHO. Police on their way? I have to go with Robin Hood's post about drawing the gun, calling & staying with 911 and I would also give the operator my description & location to pass along to the responding officers. Also pass along any info I can give about the BG to help the officers. When officers arrive I'd stay veeery still, identify myself as a victim and inform them that I will not move unless they direct me and await their instructions.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

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  8. #22
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    I am an LEO, but exclusively plain-clothed, and I carry "off-duty" as well, so this is something I certainly must think about.

    Many of the ideas expressed in the thread sound pretty good - call 911 and give the best description you can (including of yourself and your location); be immediately and fully compliant with all LEO instructions; put the weapon away as soon as it is SAFE to do so; use strong verbal commands such as "drop the weapon!" when dealing with the BG, even if you are shooting while you yell. All of these are sound ideas, IMO, and worthy of employing if at all possible.

    In addition, I have thought that yelling "I'm a cop" (even if you aren't one) may not be such a bad idea. Yes, you are technically impersonating a police officer, but if it saves your life, it's worth it. I, for one, would not arrest someone in this situation if they did that. Of course, the BG can just as easily yell "I'm a cop," so this isn't a panacea, but it's a thought.

    As for the question of gear - I think if I have time to notice a mag carrier, flashlight, good holster, et cetera, on the CCW holder, I have enough time to use some verbal commands to him/her before I start shooting. It may give me a seconds pause, but I certainly wouldn't count on it as being a definitive ID that you're a GG.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  9. #23
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Gear: I'm sure that there have been several notorious BGs in recent years that had all sorts of tactical gear on their belts, this is no way to identify GG from BG.

    Verbal commands: There is a fine line between acting with authority and impersonating a LEO. My Carry Class instructor was a Sheriff, he had a trick that he told us will command attention from BGs.
    You shout "Stop, please" but enunciate the word please as puh-lees. It sounds a lot like police, especially in the heat of the moment. If pressed by a prosecutor you were simply saying "please", but the effect is there.

    Of course, as usual, I don't want to be the test case on this one.

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    In addition, I have thought that yelling "I'm a cop" (even if you aren't one) may not be such a bad idea. Yes, you are technically impersonating a police officer, but if it saves your life, it's worth it. I, for one, would not arrest someone in this situation if they did that. Of course, the BG can just as easily yell "I'm a cop," so this isn't a panacea, but it's a thought.
    Ding, ding! A winner. There is much on "impersonation of LE". Horsepuckey. You are not pulling young women over to grope or rape them, you are not trying to steal bank cards, etc., etc.. Mass shootings are not "the norm" for violent encounters. If the DA wants to prosecute you for preventing multiple deaths, he/she will do it regardless of what you belch out. If you want to debate the legalities and "follow form" You Will Be Shot- ala the Tacoma shooting. This is not a normal SD scenario. If you want to intervene, and be completely removed from any legal aftermath, wear a stocking cap and a sports team jacket. If a shooting occurs and you decide to intervene, pull the cap down over your face, shoot the BG, go out the back of the store ditching your cap and distinctive jacket as you go. Run out screaming "Mommie,mommie!" with everyone else.

    Why did Christ use the parable of the "Good Samaritan"? The legalists and moralists left the wounded man by the side of the road, the scum-of-the-earth, the "unclean" Samaritan went the extra mile. He took the risk of being punished for breaking the "norm". If you shoot someone, you will be sued or prosecuted.....or both. Simply plan on it. Anything less will be a pleasant surprise. Do you do what's "right" or what is most secure for you? This is totally personal, somewhat subjective, and not a debatable issue.

    Couple of things being ignored: if the incident is that close, why are you concentrating on the crowd and not on what you plan to shoot? Secondly, if it is that close, I doubt very much you'll notice much besides the fire-belching culvert being directed your way.

    Warning/challenge?? The only reason to make noise is to convince the running people to get out of your line of fire, otherwise your efforts need to be on putting rounds into the target. After taking care of business, use the access door at the rear of one of the shops to get outside- unless you plan on beginning to clear the mall. FYI- unless its an older mall, all stores will have an exit leading to a truck bay area that (while it may have a wall concealing most of the doors) opens into the parking lot.

    Given this situation, you have no obligation to stay on-scene since the threat cannot definitively be known as "removed." Call 911 or :holster your weapon when you get out, and report to LE in a calm, timely, reasonable fashion. IOW, stop before you run to your car, gather your thoughts, survey the lot (make sure you don't see evidence of other "actors"), conceal your weapon, and get to a stand-off area where you can make a clear report to the dispatcher and/or responding units.

    A good start, if you're out as LE is arriving and you are away from the immediate scene, would be to have your ID and permit out, and flag down an officer. Beginning with something like: "I'm a carry-permit holder. This guy started shooting people. I drew and shot him until he went down. He was wearing XXXXX. I saw him go down near XXX." This is likely to grab their attention. And yes, you will get their attention if you stand out as not being part of the hysterical exodus.

    Yes, this assumes liability, but it is reasonably balanced with giving the first responders context of who you are, what they may expect inside, and may refine their entry plan (and the entry of EMS) which can certainly save more lives.

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    Yes, this assumes liability, but it is reasonably balanced with giving the first responders context of who you are, what they may expect inside, and may refine their entry plan (and the entry of EMS) which can certainly save more lives.
    IMHO this does not changes the entry for EMS one bit. As an EMT I can tell you I am not making entry until PD has confirmed ALL shooter nuturalized (one way or another). If our tactical Medics choose to go in with PD that is between them and their agency supervisor, I am not making entry to that area (mall parking lot included) until PD has the scene clear.
    Mark

    "The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."

    -James Earl Jones

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    That is my point- the faster PD collects info about possible remaining active shooters, the longer we will be held off-scene. A person shooting the BG, and giving a cogent AAR will decrease the time PD spends searching. If the scene commander has multiple reports of a single shooter, taken down, he will still screen everyone at the scene, but, once the known perp's carcass is secured, everything else will be a bit faster, a staging area more quickly established.

    FYI- be careful about how you accept "scene clear". No shooting scene is secure until everyone not known and in uniform is cuffed and secured, in a residential neighborhood even then it can be iffy. BTDT.

  13. #27
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    I believe that the focus should stay on the target, the active shooter. All of the other people in the mall as well as the LEOs responding are incidental. If you are going to engage the BG in a shootout, you need to stop worrying about all of the other people in the mall.

    Common sense: A BG with a shotgun is mowing-down people left and right. Common sense dictates to everyone (at least initially) to run from the threat, innocents are going to be running away from the threat. You are probably going to do the same initially if for the very least to gain some distance, establish cover and establish the target's location. If you are issuing commands to the BG to get down or drop the weapon, even while firing, most people will believe that you are a LEO without any further action on your part.

    Everybody recognizes the BG, he's the one killing everyone and everyone is running away from him. You are in the vicinity of where everybody is running towards with your focus on where the BG is, who is still armed and shooting, while people are still running away from him. You are dressed in normal attire, the BG is wearing a trenchcoat. You are carrying a conventional weapon, the BG is carrying a large firearm that is obviously out of place.

    While I sat through my CCW class there were many people that I would be genuinely afraid for my life if they even so much as cleared their holster or attempted to act. I recognize that there will probably be many such people with valid CCW's in such a situation as well. However, I do believe that anyone with half a brain cell will not be seeing someone issuing commands, wearing normal attire, carrying a conventional weapon and shooting towards a clearly established threat would see you as part of that threat.

    As for calling 9-1-1, I would see this a potential problem. I would equate an active shooter scenario with a car accident. Many people not helping the situation at all but calling about it and flooding the 9-1-1 lines with the same exact information over and over again. If anything, it hinders our response unless those people provide valuable information such as the description or current location of the BG, which many people rarely do. I can't tell you how many people would call to notify us of something but couldn't give a description or actual location of anything, solely to tell you that it happened and they saw it.

    If you are going to call 9-1-1 and give your own description, that's fine. But in such a situation where time is critical and I'm trying to get people there are quickly as I can, I truly could care less if you let me know that you're armed and your description. As far as I'm concerned, you are not a threat and I am more worried about how many BGs there are, what they look like, what they are armed with, and where they currently are so that I can tell my units responding. Truthfully, any involvement you have in the situation beyond running like the rest of the herd is going to complicate matters for LEOs.

    LEOs are trained to walk into a situation and take control with "overwhelming show of force". Any loss or potential loss of that control is seen as a direct potential threat to them. If I tell my units your description and that you're armed they're going to look for you and attempt exert control over you beyond what they would do for everyone else because they know what you look like and that you're armed, GG or not. Same thing if they find you without your description, so it really doesn't matter. However, if the first words out of your mouth are that the shooter is "over there", what they are wearing and what they're armed with, I'm pretty sure that the attempt to exert control will quickly flee and their attention directed towards the BG which you have made quickly clear to them is more of a threat to everyone. Focus on the threat, not you.

    Finally, regarding EMS... Because I dispatch for police, fire and EMS I can tell you first hand: EMS personnel are not armed. lol There's no way in hell that I am allowing my responding EMS units to be anywhere in the vicinity of flying bullets or while there's a potential that the incident location could continue to move towards where they are. First rule of public safety: If you can't help yourself, you can't help others. An EMS person can help many people in an emergency, but they can help no one with a bullet in them.

    It is standard procedure throughout the entire world that in an armed encounter EMS are "staged" at a nearby location away from harm's way. I will not allow my responding EMS units to go into such a situation where there is potential harm to them. If EMS goes in without my go ahead I will redirect LE units from the surrounding area to remove them by force, if necessary. I have done it before to some EMS units that were too zealous to heed my instruction to stage and I will do it again in a heartbeat. I've done it before with LE units and barricaded subjects and I'd do it again, too. It is the dispatcher's responsibility and authority to ensure the safety of responding units, LE, EMS or otherwise and I will make sure every one of them goes home at the end of the day.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by soundwave; February 14th, 2007 at 08:15 PM.
    "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms; history shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected people to carry arms have prepared their own fall." Adolf Hitler

  14. #28
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundwave View Post
    It is the dispatcher's responsibility and authority to ensure the safety of responding units, LE, EMS or otherwise and I will make sure every one of them goes home at the end of the day.
    First, gang warfare is the closest most of us have experienced to a multiple-shooter "terrorist" incident- at least this is the perspective I am speaking from. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions of all involved, you cannot guarantee a "safe-scene" in under 6 hours in a neighborhood, I would actually extend that to 12 in the average urban mall, given the numerous nooks and crannies, the general unfamiliarity of responders with the intimate details of the facility,and the willingness of Islamic terrorists to use infants as "bomb packages".

    A 10 year old with a KelTec in his pocket and a desire to "even-up" for his brother, can make things "real interesting" for you, on scene. Dispatch has nothing to do with this. LE cannot guarantee a safe scene. Fire is somewhat more "secure", since their assessment is more generally based in technical assessment, vs psych/social interaction. It is a matter of odds and probability, and the desire of the shooter combined with his/her demeanor. There are no guarantees. Your service may be different, but there is a reason that the scene commander has total control in a mass-casualty incident, in most jurisdictions. The recognized reality is "reasonable risk/reasonable return". Otherwise we're back to"Gettysburg Response"- you stand-off for three days, and treat anyone who can crawl out.

  15. #29
    Senior Member Array briansmech's Avatar
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    "right" and "easy" are two words seldom used together for a reason

  16. #30
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    This is where the CCW or Law Abiding Citizen badges would come in handy. I'm placing an order right now.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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