An active shooter is defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a conﬁned and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use ﬁrearm[s] and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.
Within the last five years, there have been at least 15 prominent, high-casualty producing active shooter incidents. Most of these cases have occurred in locations where the shooter has been undeterred and unobstructed from carrying out their attack. The incident locations have often been described as soft targets with limited active security measures or armed personnel to provide protection for members of the public. In most instances, shooters have either taken their own lives, been shot by police, or surrendered when forced with a confrontation by law enforcement. According to New York City Police Department (NYPD) statistics, 46 percent of active shooter incidents are ended by the application of force by police or security, 40 percent end in the shooter’s suicide, 14 percent of the time the shooter surrenders or, in less than 1 percent of cases, the violence ends with the attacker fleeing.
The definition of active shooter includes so-called "school shootings" and "snipers", but not usually suicide bombers. Active shooters have caused a paradigm shift in law enforcement training and tactics, as victims are not necessarily expected to escape or even survive these situations.
- ↑ US Dept Homeland Security. "How to respond to an active shooter booklet". Accessdate: 13 October 2013. http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/active_shooter_booklet.pdf
- ↑ How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, OSHA 3088, 2001.
- ↑ MSA WorldView. Active Shooter Threat. 20 Augist 2012. http://www.msasecurity.net/Portals/91068/docs/MSA%20Special%20Analysis%20-%20Active%20Shooter%20Threat%208.20.12.pdf
- ↑ Scanlon, James J. (July/August 2001). "Active Shooter Situations: What do we do now?!!". North American SWAT Training Association.