5 Nov 13
Details from a LEO friend who was there:
“Single suspect, DRT from self-inflicted GSW. No other gunshot injuries. All shots (save one) fired by the suspect himself, in mostly random directions. Only other gunfire was a single ND, from a shotgun carried by a responding LEO. No injuries from that discharge.
Lots of dangerous congregating, and subsequent unproductive standing-around, by arriving officers. Much hesitation on the part of commanders on the scene. Precious few white-shirts inclined to take charge and get things moving. Most were standing around like everyone else.
No armed personnel were specifically assigned to guard entrance doors. I pointed this out to several commanders who seemed unconcerned, and simultaneously annoyed that brought it up!
LEOs mostly armed with handguns. A few shotguns (as mentioned above). I had my personally-owned (and unauthorized) AR, so everyone thought I was part of a SWAT Team!
SWAT did eventually arrive with heavy weapons, but it took a while. In the interim, little was accomplished.
>I will never again look at a mannequin in quite the same way! They are extremely lifelike, and all of them look like suspects. I’m surprised a few weren’t shot. Several nearly were!
>Mirrors are everywhere and cause no end of confusion! More than one LEO was startled by his own reflection!
>With indoor shopping malls, skylights are numerous as are windows and glass doors, and, when helicopters are requested to light-up the roof, multiple light-sources, and associated reflections, wreak havoc on one’s ability to perceive what is going on around them. It’s like being in a carnival ‘haunted house!’
Now, I’m going to wax controversial:
>Don’t depend on your command staff to make incisive, timely decisions, nor display dynamic leadership. They are as frightened and confused as you are. Unfortunately, many were promoted for purely political reasons and are unqualified to occupy they positions they’re in. In a crisis, more than a few are thus clearly in over their heads, and it shows!
>And, don’t expect them to remember what kind of training they sent you to!
>Don’t stand around, waiting for someone to take charge, or for something to happen. Size-up the situation quickly, make decisions, and get moving. Support the mission as best you can, but never hesitate to exercise individual initiative when necessary. And, don’t hesitate to speak-up. Directionless dithering, with your hands in your pockets, doesn’t do anyone any good!
>Prepare your gear beforehand. Always have what you need with you, ready to go. It’s a ‘come-as-you-are’ war, and critical kit ‘back at the station’ has no chance of ever helping you!
We were lucky this time. Suspect was an aimless loser/doper/alcoholic, not a determined terrorist.”
As we say at the poker table:
“Don’t mistake good cards for brains!”