Hypothetical Nightmare Virginia Tech Tactical Scenario....

Hypothetical Nightmare Virginia Tech Tactical Scenario....

This is a discussion on Hypothetical Nightmare Virginia Tech Tactical Scenario.... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The shooting at VT made me wonder how things would have gone if you were an armed CCW holder in that situation. It is difficult ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array aypanthony's Avatar
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    Hypothetical Nightmare Virginia Tech Tactical Scenario....

    The shooting at VT made me wonder how things would have gone if you were an armed CCW holder in that situation. It is difficult because of the variables involved. Here is the scenario below. Try and choose the best option, and of course, comment.

    Situation:

    1) You and many other students are trapped in a building when the shooting begins. Closed environment. Some doors have been blocked off. No easy routes of escape(jumping out a window is not an option).

    2) Many panicked students and faculty running around and screaming.

    3) Shooter is not easily identified and exact location is unknown.

    4) Police have orders to go in.

    Options vs. drawbacks:

    Option #1: Draw weapon and attempt to engage perp.
    Drawback: You may be mis-identified as perp and fired upon by police and other CCW holder(s) or attacked by other students. You may inadvertantly engage another CCW holder doing the same as you.

    Option #2: Draw weapon, retreat to a corner and wait.
    Drawback: You may be mis-identified as perp and fired upon by police and other CCW holder(s) or attacked by other students. You may inadvertantly engage another CCW holder doing the same as you.

    Option #3: Don't draw weapon, attempt to manuever and evade perp---Hide.
    Drawback: Since perp is not identified, you may not be prepared to engage if forced to.

    Option #4: Don't draw weapon, try to identify and engage perp.
    Drawback: If you find perp, you aren't ready for an engagement. You may mis-identify another CCW holder. Once engaged, you may be mis-identified as perp.

    Option #5: Call 911 with cell phone.
    Drawback: Precious time lost making call. A phone isn't going to help you at that moment. You are on the phone when perp appears.

    Option #6: Play dead.
    Drawback: You may be trampled. You are very ill prepared to engage perp if forced to.

    I am having trouble deciding which option is the best. I would probably choose Option #2, but there are huge risks associated with that decision.

    If anyone has other options than the ones listed above, please feel free to add. What would you choose?
    Last edited by aypanthony; April 17th, 2007 at 04:54 PM.
    "...Far better it is to dare mighty things....than to take rank with those poor spirits who...knows not victory nor defeat." Theordore Roosevelt


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    not allowed to carry on campus...

    stab him violently with my pen?

    (better throw my Criminal Law text at him...) (that'll leave a mark)

  3. #3
    Member Array aypanthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR D View Post


    not allowed to carry on campus...

    stab him violently with my pen?

    (better throw my Criminal Law text at him...) (that'll leave a mark)


    Assume that CCW is allowed on campus....
    "...Far better it is to dare mighty things....than to take rank with those poor spirits who...knows not victory nor defeat." Theordore Roosevelt

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by aypanthony View Post
    What would you choose?
    IF, by some FABULOUS change of events I was allowed to carry on campus, this would be my plan of action...

    First, I'm not going AFTER the perp. That's can be seen by anyone as aggressive behavior and no, I don't know what he looks like and if I'm armed, sure enough there may be other armed individuals. I have a duty, first, to try to escape and help others escape. I'm not running from the room as I don't know what I'm running into.

    I would first call the police while drawing my gun. I would tell everyone in my class that I'm an armed citizen and that I was going to draw a gun and that everyone should get relatively behind me and take as much cover as possible because I do not want to shoot any innocent by standers. I would take out my CCW and hold it as well. When the police answered the phone I would say (loud enough for everyone in my class to hear), "My name is, Limatunes," (names have been changed to protect the innocent) "I am an ARMED CITIZEN on the third floor of building A. There are shots being fired. Again, I am an armed citizen with a CCW permit. I am trapped in this room and from the sound progression, it sounds like the shooting is making his way towards us. I am in Room 312 with 15 other people. I am female, 5' 3" tall, blond hair, blue eyes, 105 lbs. wearing a brown skirt and sweater and a tan shirt. I repeat, I am armed with a handgun and ready to defend myself should the shooter present himself. I understand that the police are on the way. There is NO means of escape. Please notify them that there is an armed citizen in the building. I am holding my concealed weapons permit in my left hand, with my cell phone.."

    I would take as much cover as I could and keep the 911 operator on the line through the entire thing. I would keep repeating my location, my description and whatever I have learned until either a) the threat presented itself, at which point I would fire, b) the police arrived, at which point I would raise my hands FAR over my head, flip on my thumb safety and drop the gun, INSTANTLY. In my left hand I would continue to display my permit. I will probably be cuffed and taken away but at least I'll be alive.

    P.S. I'd probably also put my phone on speaker phone so that I could move around with both hands more effectively and so that the other individuals in the room could hear the 911 operator and so the 911 operator could hear them. It would be VERY important to me not to be seen as a threat from any side.
    Last edited by limatunes; April 17th, 2007 at 05:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    well, you do know what they say about assuming.... lol

    I think Limatunes has said it pretty good, try to establish outside comms, make sure they know who and where you are, sit tight, and wait...

    I am not going hunting as I have already filled my tag for BGs, but if he comes my way...

    I will back up my class mate - room has two doors,

    (classmate is a LEO- we have discussed some such possibilities... and lets just say I won't have to hit him over the head to borrow his bug)



    if the assumption is made then I use my F/S 1911 instead of his .38....
    Last edited by MR D; April 17th, 2007 at 05:19 PM. Reason: incomplete answer

  6. #6
    Member Array aypanthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    IF, by some FABULOUS change of events I was allowed to carry on campus, this would be my plan of action...

    First, I'm not going AFTER the perp. That's can be seen by anyone as aggressive behavior and no, I don't know what he looks like and if I'm armed, sure enough there may be other armed individuals. I have a duty, first, to try to escape and help others escape. I'm not running from the room as I don't know what I'm running into.

    I would first call the police while drawing my gun. I would tell everyone in my class that I'm an armed citizen and that I was going to draw a gun and that everyone should get relatively behind me and take as much cover as possible because I do not want to shoot any innocent by standers. I would take out my CCW and hold it as well. When the police answered the phone I would say (loud enough for everyone in my class to hear), "My name is, Limatunes," (names have been changed to protect the innocent) "I am an ARMED CITIZEN on the third floor of building A. There are shots being fired. Again, I am an armed citizen with a CCW permit. I am trapped in this room and from the sound progression, it sounds like the shooting is making his way towards us. I am in Room 312 with 15 other people. I am female, 5' 3" tall, blond hair, blue eyes, 105 lbs. wearing a brown skirt and sweater and a tan shirt. I repeat, I am armed with a handgun and ready to defend myself should the shooter present himself. I understand that the police are on the way. There is NO means of escape. Please notify them that there is an armed citizen in the building. I am holding my concealed weapons permit in my left hand, with my cell phone.."

    I would take as much cover as I could and keep the 911 operator on the line through the entire thing. I would keep repeating my location, my description and whatever I have learned until either a) the threat presented itself, at which point I would fire, b) the police arrived, at which point I would raise my hands FAR over my head, flip on my thumb safety and drop the gun, INSTANTLY. In my left hand I would continue to display my permit. I will probably be cuffed and taken away but at least I'll be alive.

    P.S. I'd probably also put my phone on speaker phone so that I could move around with both hands more effectively and so that the other individuals in the room could hear the 911 operator and so the 911 operator could hear them. It would be VERY important to me not to be seen as a threat from any side.

    I agree that making the 911 call and identifying yourself while having your weapon drawn, is a good option. But with the Adrenaline rush of the situation(tunnel vision) and the fact that you are answering/repeating ridiculous questions from the 911 operator--presents a pretty impaired ability to respond to anything.

    I guess the problem that I have is, most of my training doesn't involve handling a cell phone at the same time as handling a weapon. How do you train for that?
    "...Far better it is to dare mighty things....than to take rank with those poor spirits who...knows not victory nor defeat." Theordore Roosevelt

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    I have an "identification" that I announce. I have command voice, and the ability and the willingness to "direct" folks, physically, when necessary. If I have seen someone shot, I would try to close. This may mean a variety of things, but is in no way a charge, gun in hand down a hall. I'm a confused guy, trying to figure out what's happening.........

    Hint: if you're on the phone, your attention isn't where it needs to be. You take care of business, then make the report. EMS personnel don't talk on the radio while they are shooting, or treating an emergent patient. Learn the lesson there- this isn't CPR, where you call first. If you can call, things aren't emergent, and you aren't in danger.

    Do some ride-alongs with your local LE & EMS, if you can. See how they operate and how they react to peoples' varying demeanors.

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    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    Seek cover, pull charging handle to the rear and observe for... ups wrong scenario.

    Seek cover, get your bearings as to where you are, assess who is around you (are they a threat?), decide if it is best to call 911 or E&E out of the area ASAP.

    If staying put, tell everyone to shut up / be quiet so you don't give up your position. When barricading, make sure doors are sturdy / have locks that could withstand heavy pounding by a maniac trying to get in. Flip over some desks to use as cover for a firing position. Turn off the lights and tell everyone to put their cellphones in vibrate mode.

    When moving, do not unholster until a threat materializes or you will become / be seen as the threat. Move in bounds, from covered positon to covered position - look for your next covered position before you actually leave the one you are at.

    If you have to shoot, shoot, then reholster. Make a mental note of what happened and keep moving (you don't know how many shooters are involved). Report what happened to LE ASAP when you are out of danger.

    There are too many variables involved for this type of scenario, these are the best options I could think of.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Nothing says you have to be obvious about drawing your weapon. I would not try to hunt down the shooter, for the reasons you already listed, but my weapon will be in my hand, shielded from view by my backpack or jacket. If you are certain enough that you were hearing gunshots to draw, the rest of the class probably will not be paying attention to you.

    Depending on the size of the class-room and it's shape, and assuming there is only one exit, I may stay crouched between the seat rows or move behind a podium / desk. Ideally, I would want to be somewhere out of direct view from the doorway, and with a clear firing lane and good backdrop on anyone coming in.

    At first opportunity, my other hand is going for my cell phone and calling 911, on speakerphone. I will tell the operator that I am armed and give them a description of myself, where I am, and what is happening, while keeping a close eye on the door. I like the idea of taking out my CHL too, just in case, but I'm not gonna flash it around.

    If that door opens, my first response is to avoid being seen until I can determine who opened it. If it's a fleeing student or LEO, I stay where I am, with my weapon drawn and concealed. If the guy has a gun, he better not point it at anyone. If he opens fire, so will I.

    It may sound a bit cold to wait until he shoots somebody before making myself known, but that's the only I see to ensure that he's not another CHL-holder doing something foolish. Sad to say, but 1 dead or wounded is better than 60, or god forbid, shooting the wrong guy.

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    If you have a problem with handling your cell phone and your gun than just put it on speaker phone and drop it on the floor. Those mics have good pick up and that way you have a recorded record of what took place in that room. If you are too shaken up to answer questions, well, don't answer them. Concentrate on what's going on and sometimes talking through things is good. Talking helps your brain go back into action for some people.. Talking through things like, "I'm finding cover, I'm turning over a desk..." might actually help you to get up and do those things. Like I said, even if you have to drop your phone on the floor or give it to someone next to you and tell THEM to report every single thing to the operator and let them deal with the questions, then do that.

    I'm defiantly making sure I have that outside connection though to make sure no LEO comes busting in the room thinking I'm a bad guy. The last thing I want to have happen is get in a fire fight with the good guys because they weren't informed.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by aypanthony View Post
    4) Police have orders to go in.
    They don't usually go in until well after the incident is over. We're not talking about a hostage situation. These situations are generally concluded about the time the first responders arrive or shortly before or after. In this type of case, you would probably be informing the police over the phone about the outcome...if in your favor.
    Maybe it would be a little easier to fortify your room and wait for him if you didn't know any of the people being killed down the hall but it would be almost impossible for me and maybe most people to sit and wait if it were my friends, classmates, maybe my girlfriend (it is college) getting killed. These tactical "what if" questions can't answer the emotional aspects of something like this happening. Truth is nobody really knows unless it happens to them.
    Last edited by Team American; April 18th, 2007 at 01:25 PM.

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    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob The Great View Post
    It may sound a bit cold to wait until he shoots somebody before making myself known, but that's the only I see to ensure that he's not another CHL-holder doing something foolish. Sad to say, but 1 dead or wounded is better than 60, or god forbid, shooting the wrong guy.
    Can't agree more. But you're not being cold. You're just making sure you understand the situation.

    If you were there at Tech, the worst case scenareo is that you do nothing at all and 30 people die (most likely, you among them).

    If you panic and start shooting when you see a gun, you may have just killed an innocent.

    If you wait until you know the guy with the gun is the active shooter, someone may as you stated die but you will probably save a lot of people who otherwise would be dead.

    I may skip the cell phone though. I read where the mind tries to finish everything it starts and under stress you may try to continue talking to 911 when you should be concentrating all your efforts on shooting the bad guy.

    This is another one of those unfair situations where you have an extremely small window of time to make a decision and regardless of what you do, it could go very well or very badly.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    If you have a problem with handling your cell phone and your gun than just put it on speaker phone and drop it on the floor.

    I'm defiantly making sure I have that outside connection though to make sure no LEO comes busting in the room thinking I'm a bad guy. The last thing I want to have happen is get in a fire fight with the good guys because they weren't informed.
    Not flaming you lima, but 1)if you drop your phone, and things carry you out of the room, you just disposed of your comms, 2) all 911 will hear are screams and shouting- you'll be tying up a line that could be used for info.

    Here's the thing- this was over in roughly 120 seconds, between the time LE encountered the locked doors, and their entry. If you're talking, you aren't "acting" enough.

    If you decide to intervene, you'll either have to have an "official capacity", or be able and willing to assume one. Act or don't act. But "acting" means shooting now. If you don't feel confident- don't do it.

    We can change the scenario to your finding someone whose leg is cut off and spurting blood. What do you do? You don't get your phone. 1) make sure whatever took off their leg won't take off yours,and 2) control the bleed. Nothing else, until you've controlled the situation. Circumstances are different, outcomes are the same. Scream out (Command Voice) "Call 911!", if you want, but if you're in real danger, running your gun will more than occupy you.

    Talking to dispatch is what you do when things are secure. If the shooter is gone, and you've secured the entrance, absolutely, call in a report.

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    As far as accidentally engaging another sheepdog doing the same as I am, I think the hint would be when the "other" shooter started taking shots at innocent folks. I think that were it me, I'd go for #4.

    Assuming it was legal for me to be armed in the first place in the classroom as was the situation when I was a senior at BAMA in the 1970s. All my buddies in Army ROTC had CCWs and we all carried nearly all the time. I was working full time as an armed security guard so my weapon of choice (we had to provide our own weapon) was a S&W M19 .357mag with a 4" BBL. I carried that gun for many years even after I graduated. Any such wolf trying this garbage at the UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA while I was there would have been shredded by armed students in platoon strength and moving in coordinated fire teams with a real Airborne Ranger in command. Better than what the cops could have produced at that time.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    No room clearing for me. I would first block any doors comming into the room. I would call 911 and identify my self and at the same time I would get the people in one area out of the line of fire. I would also check for any one else who might be carrying and elimanate the chance of getting shot. I would pull my gun and keep it out of sight while still on the cell phone giveing updates Now it's a case of waiting for the bad guy.

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