FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Bob Parker

Bob Parker

Lt. Robert Parker served with the Omaha (Neb.) PD for 30 years and commanded the Emergency Response Unit. He is responsible for training thousands of law enforcement instructors in NTOA's Patrol Response to Active Shooters courses.



Jose Medina

Jose Medina

Officer Jose Medina is an active member of the Piscataway (N.J.) Police Department's SWAT team and runs Awareness Protective Consultants (Team APC) tactical training.

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

SWAT

Active Shooter at Nursing Home: Engage or Wait for Backup?

How would you handle this active-shooter call as a patrol deputy?

May 25, 2011  |  by Bob Parker - Also by this author

With this SWAT blog, we're presenting an active-shooter scenario for your consideration. We'd like to know how you would handle it, so please add your comments below.

The scenario is based on an actual incident. In the next post, we'll give you the actual outcome. OK, here's the set up:

It's Sunday morning (around 10 a.m.) in a small, more rural town (of about 1,200 residents). The local police department has 12 sworn officers and one patrol officer on duty. The sheriff's department has two deputies on patrol in different parts of the county.

The lone officer on duty receives a radio call to investigate the sound of gunfire at the edge of town. This isn't an unusual call for the area. From time to time, target shooters and hunters enter the area and have to be warned off. Hunting and target shooting have been prohibited in the area because of its close proximity to a nursing home with an Alzheimer's unit.

It takes the officer three minutes to drive to the area. When he arrives in the parking lot of the nursing home, the officer observes a white male bleeding and leaning against a vehicle. The wounded man tells the officer he came to visit his elderly mother at the home. He also says that as he exited his vehicle a heavy set, white male with a beard shot him with a shotgun. He says the suspect walked into the home with his shotgun and a handgun. He heard gunshots from inside the home after the gunman entered.

The officer calls for backup from the sheriff and a rescue squad for the wounded party. The officer approaches the front door of the home and enters the lobby. There he finds three individuals, one on the floor bleeding and two elderly people in wheelchairs also bleeding from what appear to be gunshot wounds. All appear to be dead.

At this point, the dispatcher advises that the sheriff's deputies are at least three minutes away. An employee tells the officer that after shooting the people in the lobby, the gunman headed into a corridor that leads to the Alzheimer's unit. The employee adds that the shooter's estranged wife works in that unit. At this point, the officer hears four more gunshots and moves toward the corridor.

Now that you've been presented with the scenario, what would you do?

Would you move toward the corridor to close on the shooter or wait for backup? You're carrying only your .40-caliber service sidearm. Would you engage the suspect?

Look at the totality of the information given. Consider the up side, as well as what can go wrong before you choose a course of action.

Bob Parker is the Patrol Section chair for the National Tactical Officers Association.


Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine