....if you don't have the active shooter in sight, or from real short time/distance accomplish positive identification( real close gunshots), the best advice I can give anyone is not, I repeat, not go on a search and destroy mission. If you cannot neutralize the shooter in less than one to two minutes and you go looking for him with gun in hand, superhero costume on, chances are that you will run into:
a- armed police in plainclothes, having dinner also
b- armed shopkeeper with even less training than us
c- armed CCW holder also wearing superhero costume
d- illegally armed civilian hoping not to be arrested, trying to ditch weapon
e- armed security guard assigned to post
f- uniformed police officers, scared and faced with mass confusion, or
g- any combination of the above and anything else possible
Life is comprised of WHAT IF'S and WHY NOTS, tactical decisions are just that, I would always like to go b***s to the wall and pedal to the metal ,it's nice to be able to do that, but consequences need to be considered, also.
When I was an SRT operator, I worked with a Team Leader, that used to say, don't give up any real estate. It's good advice.
Let's say you are in the restaurant, gunshots run out and it's not happening in the premises, you don your Captain America costume and go into the mall looking for him, you have now:
a- given up a secure location, for family and other patrons
b- allowed the posibility that the shooter will come inside after you leave
c- failed to lock the front door and allowed the patrons to run into danger
thereby providing the shooter with desirable running targets
Shortly after the Columbine incident, I initiated training exercises in different school buildings, both private and public, using School Board Police and affected District personnel as outer perimeter and all SRT members(approx. 35) for building searches as well as inmediate confrontation teams. It proved very, very interesting as we also used role players. I did 5 or 6 of these, and dudes, never take anything for granted.
In 2000 and 2001, I also attended some training given by, don't laugh, Hialeah PD at MDCC North Campus. Hialeah PD had a gentleman, now deceased at a very early age, named Captain Eddy Del Toro, who I firmly believe was at the forefront of Active Shooter Tactics, and believed in practical training with paintball guns. This guy knew his stuff, sadly, died of an aneurysm at the early age of 52, he will be missed.
I was starting to get old and feeble, but I really digged this stuff and wanted to take more training in this subject matter,if only in regards to DECISION MAKING. I also felt that it would keep reoccurring as people are becoming crazier and more unstable, but then I started to piss some people off and the inevitable occurred, ended up looking for other work.
I am , please, by no means, an authority on this issue, but humbly, if there is anything I can tell you is this:
Be professional, shed any emotions if possible, grow eyes in the back of your head and:
Ladies and gentlemen, if you see him, please, by all means take him, dont' miss, but if you dont' see him, and decide to WHY NOT look for him, think of WHAT IF you run into people that can be confused for the shooter, or even worse have he/she confuse you for the shooter. Some decisions are counter productive at best to be regretted for the rest of your life, long or short depends on you.