Active Shooter: Mall Scenario

This is a discussion on Active Shooter: Mall Scenario within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Does anyone have a succinct, well presented, good resource on surviving an active shooter in a shopping mall? Text and / or AV? Thank you! ...

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Thread: Active Shooter: Mall Scenario

  1. #1
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    Question Active Shooter: Mall Scenario

    Does anyone have a succinct, well presented, good resource on surviving an active shooter in a shopping mall? Text and / or AV? Thank you!

    No, I am not a mall rat, so save your comments for somebody else
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    Senior Member Array CR Williams's Avatar
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    Are you asking after a strategy/tactics guide, or some principles? I can recommend some principles, but I'm not sure about specifics.

    If you are not in the immediate area of the shooting:

    Seek cover or concealment.
    Evaluate.
    Make a plan. (To move to engage, to remain in place, to seek escape.) If time allows, make a backup plan. (A simple backup plan is to prepare to engage at any moment. This doesn't mean the gun is in the hand. It means you are 'thinking' the shot from where you are at any moment.)
    Carry out the plan.

    If you are in the immediate area of the shooting (defined as any place where you can be shot at):

    Orient to the shooter as you move evasively to best available position to quickly engage. (If cover or concealment or a better shooting position is close enough.)
    Engage the shooter.
    (If you're out in the open to far, reverse the steps.)

    I have written a general-concept article addressing active shooters which also appears in my book, but I don't know if this is what you're looking for:

    In Consideration of The Active Shooter


    There have been active-shooter incidents. There will be more. Some of you are pretty sure of what you'll do if
    evil ever comes to visit like that. Some of you are worried and wondering what you're supposed to do against
    that.

    So let's consider some concepts:

    For one thing, much of what you already know can be applied against an Active Shooter just as well as it can be
    applied against an armed robber. The same tactics, the same techniques, the same tools, the same decisions,
    the same will to win, the same training you would use against Joe Thug and Jane Thuggete is applicable here
    as well.

    Don't be fooled and don't fool yourself into thinking that this is some kind of unusual situation where little if
    anything that you already have applies. It is not.

    That said, more training will help. Most of us don't have enough. And by training, I mean fight training, as
    opposed to shooting training. Yes, you need to learn how to shoot the gun. That's fundamental, and that's
    important. But you need to move quickly to learn how to fight with the gun. Start choosing your training
    opportunities accordingly.

    Something that will help you train for the Active Shooter problem is visualization. Visualization is your friend. I
    don't mean idle day-dreaming or casual 'what-ifs' in your head. I mean the mental equivalent of the Star Trek
    Next Generation Holodeck. Set up the image, establish the players, start the production...you are the director
    and actor.

    Look at the set up, the movement, the angles, the actions, the reactions. See yourself acting correctly, hitting
    solidly, fighting, winning. If you're not feeling some emotional reaction and maybe a slight increase in pulse
    rate, think harder. Visualization is a proven tool to improvement, to competence, to survival. Properly done
    visualization that supplements real fight training will take you an exceedingly long way toward both
    competency and competence in the face of unexpected evil.

    Finally, understand the stakes. This is not a normal crime. There is little if any chance that you can stop them
    with a warning or the simple display of a weapon. So far, most Active Shooters have not survived their
    assaults, whether it was because they killed themselves or were killed by others. You have to go with the
    historical evidence, and the historical evidence indicates that the Active Shooter does not intend to survive
    their attack.

    They have walked in to that place with the idea that they are going to choose the time and place of their
    death, and of yours. Don't let them have that choice. Don't let them choose for you. Don't let them decide.

    Be clear about this: The choice they offer will not be whether or not anyone lives or dies. The choice
    will be who dies, where they die, when they die. You will have the opportunity and the chance to
    take that choice away from them. You can deny them the last bit of absolute power they try to take
    before they die. The opportunity will be yours.

    TAKE IT.
    KBSR, Pkupmn98, Echo_Four and 1 others like this.
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    Tactics and Strategies, for a non-shooter

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    I don't go to malls.

    I started practicing this discipline many years ago, and it has become even easier now that all the malls around here are posted defense free zones.

    It started out as a tactic for defending the contents of my wallet and also for not filling my life with junk.
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    FEMA has an online course, open to anyone, that deals with active shooters. I haven't taken it, but I have taken a number of other courses for the volunteer work I do, and I can say that their other courses are well put together.

    Emergency Management Institute

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Awareness of ones location in the mall is critical. Other than the bullets flying getting out of an active shooter scenario is little different from evacuating because of a fire. You generally do not want to run toward either one. State and federal fire codes /life safety code limit how many square feet of space you can have per exit and how far apart the exits can be. When I was in training as a firefighter (early 1980's) they told us that studies had shown that in an emergency over 90% of people will attempt to exit through the same door they entered by. They will actually walk past safe exits, toward the fire to get to the door they came in.

    Before entering a mall for the first time one should just do a quick lap of the parking lots and see where the loading docks are. Some places they are actually in a tunnel under the mall. Look for plain steel doors with no handles on the outside. These are most likely fire exits accessed from service corriders between or behind stores. As you walk inside the mall look for the exit signs at the common area entrances to those hallways. They frequently will also have some kind of fire department signage, maybe for a standpipe. No matter where you are in the common area of the mall you should be able to see at least one of these exit signs. While walking in the mall I divide the mall into segments. "Work" the mall from sign to sign. By doing that you know how far you have to go in either direction in case of a problem.
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    Grant Cunningham posted a couple of Rob Pincus videos on his blog. They actually address a school situation, but there's good info there which is at least partly relevant to a mall shooter.

    Practical responses to school attacks. | Current Events, Self defense, Techniques & Training | GrantCunningham.com
    Smitty
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    FEMA has an online course, open to anyone, that deals with active shooters. I haven't taken it, but I have taken a number of other courses for the volunteer work I do, and I can say that their other courses are well put together.

    Emergency Management Institute
    I have not looked at it, but thanks for posting; sounds interesting.
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