Three Shocking Facts about the Florida Shooting Timeline
The tragic event that unfolded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School still grips the attention of the entire nation as we attempt to discern where we have failed so greatly that another active shooter attack has occurred at one of our most vulnerable institutions. The list of things that went wrong and the systems that failed in this case are too numerous to list and essentially created the perfect storm of failures that allowed this horrific incident to take place. Much focus will remain on prevention of these incidents as it should, however no amount of focus and determination will ever completely stop these attacks from occurring. The very saddening and tragic reality is that mass casualty attacks like this are not going away. The timeline of this event sheds some significant light on several disheartening realities of this and other active shooter incidents.
The average response time for law enforcement to arrive to an active shooter event is three minutes. In this case, Deputy Peterson, the SRO assigned to this school, was on campus when the attack began and responded immediately to the building. That response alone took two minutes and eleven seconds. Assuming he had actually entered the building and done his job of confronting and eliminating the threat, it could have easily been an additional thirty seconds to one minute for him to locate and engage the shooter in that three story building where the shooter was on the move. The actions taken during that critical time can and do make all of the difference when it comes to increasing the chances of survivability during these chaotic attacks.
The second elapsed time of significance during this event is the amount of time that the shooter actually conducted the ongoing attack. He was able to engage in active killing and massive carnage for six minutes and 2 seconds before he decided to stop on his own. The fact that the number of victims remained in the double digits is in and of itself a miracle considering the length of this attack. To see what amount of destruction can be done in the typical three minute response time window, watch this video for your reality check.
The third extremely significant elapsed time from Parkland is the amount of time it took before the first team of law enforcement officers entered the building to potentially engage the suspect. Eleven minutes and fifteen seconds elapsed from the time that the first shot was fired by the suspect until the first team of law enforcement entered the building to search for and neutralize the shooter. Of course we all know now that the shooter had fled before then but that information was unknown at the time. Several elements of chaos and confusion erupted during this incident which significantly contributed to this delayed response by law enforcement.
My point in all of this is not to criticize law enforcement or play Monday morning quarterback on what should have been done differently. I simply want to illustrate for you that these events are filled with chaos and confusion even for the highly trained expert first responders. My point is to bring awareness to the fact that every organization, business, school, and house of worship, needs to be doing more than planning to hide and wait for the cops to save you. You must be actively engaged in formulating your own intruder action plans as well as practicing those plans. Proper previous training can embed the seed of critical stress response that will allow our brains and our bodies to act as one in response to a threat. Decisive action is a vitally important step in increasing survivability during a critical incident. The only way to force the body into immediate decisive action is by having a plan that has already been embedded that can and will be recalled at that extremely important time. Whatu2019s your plan?
To learn more about improving your physical security, training for a critical incident, or obtaining an evaluation for your school, church, business, or facility, please visit our website at www.defendsystems.com or give us a call at 615-236-6484. We are passionate about helping all organizations achieve real security.