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Vegas Massacre Could Change Active Shooter Tactics

October 04, 2017  | 

A trained sharpshooter firing from atop the University of Texas Tower in 1966 introduced many Americans to mass casualty attacks, but almost all of the large-scale shootings since then — including Sandy Hook and Orlando — have taken place at ground level with the gunman killing from relatively close range.

One result: Even as mass shootings became more frequent and police departments expanded training on how to confront a gunman, officers were typically coached on close-quarters assaults taking place on the first couple of floors of schools, shopping malls and office buildings.

Then came Sunday night, when a gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel, targeting a crowd at a concert some 500 yards away. At least 58 people were killed and about 500 others wounded and injured.

Former and current law enforcement chiefs and other experts predicted that Sunday’s shooting could alter the training at many police forces to include more of a focus on the threat posed by high-rise snipers or others who kill from long distances, the New York Times reports.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Mike @ 10/4/2017 7:16 PM

I’ve never understood why places with sightlines over large crowds, amusement parks, airports, military bases, etc., don’t have at least a small contingent of security trained & EQUIPPED for active shooters. They would of course help handle the normal work load of security officers while on duty. But no one would know the venue like someone that worked there everyday. Plus they’d have access to master keys and service corridors. In this case they at least could have helped sweep the adjacent floors.

Mal @ 10/5/2017 8:23 AM

The difficulty with police tactics is they are mostly reactive as described in this article. Security is usually proactive. It is unusual that here were no police monitoring of this event from "the high perch." As police have learned hostage negotiation does not work do to active shooter timelines. Police tactics should progress to police tactical intelligence profiling. Think like the enemy.

Deputy Moose @ 10/5/2017 9:16 AM

Unfortunately the human thought process is to lock up the barn only after the horse has been stolen.

GAPP @ 10/7/2017 8:38 PM

The Texas Tower Massacre lessons have been forgotten over the years since. Mass killings can take place by firearm, motor vehicle, bomb & toxic materials releases. In today's age the officers and the departments needs the knowledge & training to counter all means of mass murder perpetuated by individuals or groups. If local & State authorities cannot put together an awareness / knowledge of / training for these situations then the Federal authorities need to put together the programs for those first responders to be trained in.

Bo @ 10/8/2017 9:34 PM

Unfortunately, unless you are a force/group tasked with a specific security detail, considering todays workforce numbers, it would be very hard if not impossible to man or to take into account every scenario or every seem in the blanket of security. Each of these events have proven that we cannot cover all bases nor take into account all the areas that a driven person can wreak havoc. Yes, there have been numerous events where one might have been able to predict an exposure of lacks in security. Most of the time those issues were unavoidable or simply not prudent enough to cover. Hopefully we can all continue to learn, prepare, and safely cover the backs of each other and our citizens. A driven person, if dead set on some type of violence, almost always will find a way.

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