Another shooting took place in America on September 6. This time, the victims and the shooter truly did not know one another despite the shooting taking place at a workplace — the Fifth Third Center in Cincinnati’s Fountain Square.
Three men were killed, and others were wounded, by a gunman who began shooting shortly after 9 a.m. in the high-traffic area that stands as a landmark in the middle of a booming city. Police have not yet identified a motive for the now-deceased gunman, but they do believe he was not an employee of the bank, which is the largest occupant of the Center, or any of the stores, officers, hotels, or restaurants in the area.
What is known is the gunman entered the premises through a loading dock into the lobby of the Fifth Third Center. He was found with one pistol and 200 rounds of ammunition. An investigation is still underway.
This shooting comes at a time when active shooter training and situational awareness is at an all-time high in America. Active shooters are more frequent, more deliberate and more targeted. Everyone needs to be prepared. Everyone needs to participate in active shooter training.
AEGIS Security & Investigations is proud to offer live and online active shooter preparedness and response courses that are easy to follow and teaches you how to prevent, react, and survive and attack.
A couple of notes about the Cincinnati shooting
First and foremost, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and extended community of the Cincinnati shooting. Their loss is a tragedy.
Second, we want to take this time to open a learning opportunity. The shooter in this case had clear access to his target. Because Fountain Square is a city landmark, it is a huge soft target. Soft targets are places with high traffic, open spaces, easy access, and, generally, less security coverage than you may think. Parks, festivals, malls are all examples of prime soft targets.
When you are in an open area, be aware of your surroundings. In a time of weekly active shooters, we all must enhance our active shooter preparedness and site specific situational awareness through robust training programs. Being aware of your environment — who is there, what they are holding, how they are behaving, the nearest entrances and exits, and having a plan — increases the likelihood of identifying suspicious activities, reporting suspicious behavior, and preparing to run, hide, or fight.
Third, this Center was a bustling workplace. However, unlike numerous recent instances like the UPS San Francisco attack where a former or current employee opens fire, the Cincinnati shooter was (as currently known) not affiliated with Fifth Third Bank nor any other businesses in the Center. Nonetheless, he had some motive that led to this act, which reminds us we need to be alert and responsive no matter how familiar a place is to us.
The long and short of responding to an active shooter is this: As soon as you realize you are in an active shooter incident, be prepared to run, hide, and fight. Put yourself into a mindset that keeps you calm yet reactive. Your first instinct should be to run away from the situation. Once you can confirm you are safe, locate or call police officers or local security.
Why seek active shooter training?
Active shooter situations have steadily risen since the start of the millennium, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and are projected to continue to increase. (For a list of 2016 mass shootings, click here.)
The Everbridge Emergency Management and Safety (EMS) Solutions Active Shooter Preparedness Research Report found that while companies view active shooter situations to be a major concern, they are still not tackling the problem. According to the report, an active shooter incident was a top potential threat to the workplace for 69 percent of employee respondents.
What is active shooter training?
Active shooter training teaches you how to react in such a situation. Once shots are heard, the typical response for untrained individuals is to scream and, more often than not, stop in their tracks, leaving them open targets for the shooter.
The civilian active shooter training provided by AEGIS Security & Investigations is intended to build on “run, hide, fight,” the long-standing method of saving yourself in these events. Workshops run from an hour to several hours dependent on the needs of the organization and individuals. Our most highly sought after workplace violence training program is our one-hour plus add-on Run, Hide, Fight Live Fire Demo; participants begin with a lecture and basic training on how to handle the situation and are then exposed to sample scenarios in which they practice those same skills. The effectiveness of this scenario can be viewed on a CBS segment here.
AEGIS’ program is modeled after our one-hour live lecture and live fire demo and has been expanded to include additional information regarding pre-incident indicators, workplace violence and terrorism. It has been adapted for a unique immersive online delivery that challenges participants to make split-second decisions that could be the difference between life and death. Participants learn proven techniques on how to survive an active shooter.
The course is taught by a security expert and professional instructor. This online active shooter training is designed for civilians and aims to increase their personal resiliency and likelihood of surviving an incident before the police arrive. Sign up today for your online active shooter course with AEGIS Security & Investigations.
The long and short of responding to an active shooter
As soon as you realize are in an active shooter incident, be prepared to run, hide, and fight. Put yourself into a mindset that keeps you calm yet reactive. Your first instinct should be to run away from the situation. Once you can confirm you are safe, locate or call police officers or local security.
If running is not possible, find a hiding place. This can be the nearest space in which you can lock and/or barricade the door and take cover behind dense objects. If there is no room or space readily available, hide behind or under a large dense objects, or a dark space that would be difficult in which to identify a target for a shooter. Keep in mind that if you are hiding, you may need to move to a new space is the threat gets closer and that you may also end up fighting. Wherever you are, fashion yourself an improvised weapon with which to fight.
If you must engage in a fight with an active shooter, you have three key goals: defend yourself, incapacitate the perpetrator, and secure his/her weapon as quickly as possible. Heavy objects from your surroundings that can be thrown at or bashed into the perpetrator are ideal weapons. If there are others with you, work as a team.
Remember, your safety is primary in an active shooter situation.
Some additional notes here about active shooter trainings are likely spaces for such situations and what trainings can prepare you for in such an event.
Participating in active shooter training enhances one’s ability to remember the key element of enduring such a situation: run, hide, fight. AEGIS Security & Investigations offers a real-life active shooter training course in which students learn to ensure their personal safety and help those around them stay clear of danger. The greatest benefits to a course like this are its ability to put trainees into the proper reactionary mindset, its unique approach as a drill to create physical memory of what to do, and its insistence on the need for run, hide, and fight.
AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff.
Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people tracing, and background investigation. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit www.aegis.com.
AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people locates, and background investigations. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit www.aegis.com.
By Chelsea Turner & Jeff Zisner