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Gunman opens fire near High School: What can we learn?

by George Wehby   |  September 28th, 2011 7

Police killed an armed man in Issaquah, Wash., who was walking around near a high school Saturday. The individual was reported to be walking around firing indiscriminately.  Since it was a Saturday, school was not in session, but the school was having a football game. During the ordeal, the police rushed the field and had the fans take refuge under the bleachers until the individual could be located. The individual was eventually found and engaged by police after refusing to drop his weapon.

Now, this individual seemed to be bent on a confrontation with police. It probably falls into a “suicide by cop” scenario, which plagues law enforcement. The article caused me to ask, what if I were at the game and the individual burst into the area and started shooting people indiscriminately. A high school football game is located on school property which prohibits concealed carry. So basically, I am unarmed enjoying the game and this type of incident occurs. The first word that comes to my mind is “cover.” The problem we most often run into is a lack of a place to hide. In reality, you can find areas of concealment almost anywhere, but most will not stop a bullet.

As I play this out in my head, I imagine all the football games I attended, and most the objects are aluminum or wood.  These make great spots with which we can conceal ourselves, but horrible ballistic shields. In order to not be the guy standing without a chair when the music stops, I usually pre-identify objects of cover before my seat selection. It falls into my tactical seating philosophy discussed in this article. This way if things break bad, I have a plan in place instead of scrambling to create one in the chaos.

Have you thought about the objects in your environment and their ability to provide cover?

What areas/enviroments provide you the biggest challenge?

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