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Responding to High-Rise Active Shooters

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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On October 1, 2017, a mass shooting took place in Las Vegas in which the active shooterperched on the thirty-second floor of a high-rise buildingkilled fifty-eight people at an outdoor concert below. Law enforcement last modified its active-shooter response practices after the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. Since then, agencies across the United States have based their active-shooter responses on the assumption that the shooter is on the move and in the same two-dimensional environment as the responding officers the response practices, training, and resource requirements do not address a three-dimensional threat in a semi-fixed position. This thesis analyzed case studies from the University of Texas tower shooting, the Mumbai terrorist attack, and the Las Vegas mass shooting to illuminate patterns, nuances, practices, techniques, tactics, and procedures related to high-rise active shooters. The conclusions identified training procedures, equipment considerations, and response practices that may help first responders mitigate damage from similar attacks in the future.

Subject Categories:

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Sociology and Law

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