Active Shooters : Threat and Defense for soft targets


Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish supermarket in Paris, the cafe in Sidney, the shopping mall in Nairobi, the movie theater in Aurora, the summer camp on the island of Utøya, the hotel in Mumbai and lots of schools and other public places all over the world are known as “soft targets” – where citizens work, study or relax.

The opposite – “hard targets” – are places with intense security like the Pentagon and World Trade Center and meanwhile also airports.

Scott Stewart, the vice president of tactical analysis at the global intelligence and advisory firm Stratfor, told VICE News that the shift from hard targets to soft targets escalated in 2004 with al Qaeda. There is also a movement away from bombings and toward armed assault.

Europol director Rob Wainwright warned this week: “We’re dealing with multiple thousands of potential terrorists.”

But terrorism is not the only threat.

Shorter version in German:  Soft Targets: Bedrohung und Schutz

Shorter version in Spanish: Tiradores Activos: Amenaza y Defensa para Objetivos Fáciles 

Long version in English:

We know of multiple shootings in public by mentally ill people or religious fanatics, by former employees, bullied students or jealous (ex) partners.

The United States experienced a lot of these public shootings. Therefore the FBI initiated in 2014 a study of “active shooter” incidents. The goal of the FBI study is to provide data so local law enforcement can better understand how to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from these incidents. They concentrated on the active aspect which implies that both law enforcement personnel and citizens have the potential to affect the outcome of the event based upon their responses.

This study helps clarify the environment with regard to both the level of risk citizens face and the speed with which active shooter incidents occur. A majority of the incidents [..] ended on the shooter’s initiative before the police arrived—sometimes when the shooter committed suicide or stopped shooting, and other times when the shooter fled the scene. In 64 incidents where the duration of the incident could be ascertained, 44 (69.0%) of 64 incidents ended in 5 minutes or less, with 23 ending in 2 minutes or less.

The study identified 21 (13.1%) of 160 incidents where unarmed citizens made the selfless and deeply personal choices to face the danger of an active shooter. In those instances, the citizens safely and successfully disrupted the shootings. [..] And in 6 other incidents, armed off-duty police officers, citizens, and security guards risked their lives to successfully end the threat. These actions likely saved the lives of students and others present.

Recognizing the increased active shooter threat and the swiftness with which active shooter incidents unfold, these study results support the importance of training and exercises—not only for law enforcement but also for citizens.

It is important, too, that training and exercises include not only an understanding of the threats faced but also the risks and options available in active shooter incidents.

FBI Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013

The Defense

The new EU Commissioner of Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos said after the attacks in Paris, which left 17 people dead, 12 at the Charlie Hebdo magazin, four in the Jewish supermarket and one police woman in the streets:

We have a number of practical options to enhance the action of the European Union and its Member States. We must continue our efforts, in cooperation with Member States, other European institutions and other stakeholders to:

* Strengthen prevention of radicalization;

* Improve instruments of fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism;

* Better detect and better respond to threats;

* In parallel, set up a European system for the transfer of passenger data. [..]

We must all act together to make it clear to our friends and enemies that Europe can guarantee the security of its citizens without compromising the values and identity.

European Commission – Speech 15/3141

He also presented a Fact Sheet : Fighting terrorism at EU level, an overview of Commission’s actions, measures and initiatives

What is the EU focus on the protection against terrorist attacks?

The EU wants to protect public areas considered as soft-targets, such as museums, sport and cultural areas like airports. (

How is the movement of illegal firearms currently regulated in the EU?

Military weapons cannot be traded to private persons. Under specific conditions only collectors can keep military weapons. [T]he Commission decide on how to proceed to amend the Firearms Directive, which could lead to a proposal for stricter checks for some categories of weapons and by prohibiting the most dangerous weapons, which are already subject today to mandatory authorisation.

European Commission – Memo 15/3140

The EU thinks about more restrictions on weapons which were not used in the attacks and are owned by millions of citizens (alarm weapons and replicas ) or by law-abiding civilians (allready mandatory for licenses).

Even the EU knows that the used weapons were military weapons and already prohibited and our European gun law could not prevent the attacks.

French gun laws

We citizens cannot judge the intelligence tools, but we know how state servants and how civilians respond to threats. Some are brave heroes, some are cowards. Usually lots of civilians are at the location and no armed police officer or security guards is present.

Furthermore more and more police stations and police patrols are closed and stopped for financial reasons. A fast respond to an attack by police is hardly possible. Police cannot reach the location within 5 minutes. In some countries, as Great Britain or Germany, emergency calls are responded by answering machines, by call center workers or their line is busy.

The EU cannot guarantee the security of its citizens

Marie-Helen Maras, a security professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, explained that if there were police or military officers posted in or near every soft target — including cafes or movie theaters — people would no longer go to them. They would be convinced they were in more danger with the officers there, and police need to ensure they are not creating more fear than is necessary.

“We have to accept the fact that there’s no such thing as absolute security,” Maras told VICE News. “All of us in security have a choice to make about how much of our resources we will use. There’s no way we can protect every soft target.”

What law enforcement can do, Maras said, is ensure they can mitigate the effect of any lone wolf or group attack on a soft target by having quick response times and by providing training for all the private security personnel employed by malls, offices, and hotels.

VICE News Interview of January 14, 2015

Interpol Chief: The best option is “Armed Citizenry”

After the attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi with 67 dead and 175 wounded victims, the then Secretary General Roland Noble stated that we have only two options to choose from if we want to protect the so-called “soft targets” from attack:

Either to create secure perimeters around the locations or allow civilians extended access to firearms of their own, so they would be able to defend themselves in case a terrorist act occurs.

“How do you protect soft targets? That’s really the challenge. You can’t have armed police forces everywhere,” he told reporters. “It’s Interpol’s view that one way you protect soft targets is you make it more difficult for terrorist to move internationally. So what we’re trying to do is to establish a way for countries … to screen passports, which are a terrorist’s best friend, try to limit terrorists moving from country to country. And also, that we’re able to share more info about suspected terrorists.”

In the interview with ABC News, Noble was more blunt and directed his comments to his home country.

“Ask yourself: If that was Denver, Col., if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly?” Noble said, referring to states with pro-gun traditions. “What I’m saying is it makes police around the world question their views on gun control.

It makes citizens question their views on gun control. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?’ This is something that has to be discussed.”

ABC Interview, October 21, 2013

Armed heroes, two of them civilians, rescued hundreds of people

An ex Royal Marine with a handgun saved 100 lives. The former soldier is said to have returned to the building on a dozen occasions, despite intense gunfire. A friend in Nairobi said: ‘What he did was so heroic. He was having coffee with friends when it happened. He went back in 12 times and saved 100 people. Imagine going back in when you knew what was going on inside.’

Abdul Yusuf Haji travelled to the mall with his handgun after receiving a text messages from his inside trapped brother. He saw three women with three children huddled under the table – in the middle of the crossfire. Together with other armed rescuers he helped rescue all six of them.

After being shot by one of the attackers Satpal Singh rescued lots of people by pushing them onto the streets. He got help by an armed policeman who got shot in the leg and had to escape. When he asked other police officers to help him they refused. So he returned unarmed with other citizens and rescued more people, some with gunshot wounds.

Three policemen had been honoured who spearheaded the first rescue mission, also the five soldiers who died during the attack.

Government was warned – but did not intervene

Before the attack in Nairobi Israelis issued warnings that buildings owned by its citizens could be attacked in September in Nairobi and Mombasa. Westgate is partly Israeli-owned. A 8,800-word dossier details terrorist plots and other activities by the militant group, including a direct warning of a terror plot in Nairobi between September 13 and 21.

Security sources have told the BBC that the militants hired a shop there in the weeks leading up to the siege. This gave them access to service lifts at Westgate enabling them to stockpile weapons and ammunition. Having prepositioned weapons they were able to re-arm quickly and repel the security forces.

Law enforcement and security can’t protect everything

The security expert Scott Stewart, mentioned in the beginning told VICE news that law enforcement has to prioritize its security resources. Government can’t allow something like a nuclear weapons storage facility or chlorine plant to be attacked. Law enforcement and security can’t protect everything. So they concentrate on protecting of hard targets and VIPs.

After the attack of Charlie Hebdo dozens of VIPs asked for personal protection within 24 hours. But France has only 700 highly trained agents which are able to protect Very Important Persons. According to the calculation of the French administrative financial jurisdiction, the average budget of a police officer assigned to this type of contract would amount to 71,879 euros per year. And you need more than one personal bodyguard to protect one VIP.

We know that Russia informed US agencies one of the Boston bombers may have trained assaulted attacks in a camp and was flying to the US. We know that the French attackers were suspects for the police, even the one of the Toulouse massaker. The attacker in Belgique should have appeared to court the next day.

When we studied the incidents listed by the FBI study we noticed that some shooters had been sentenced because of violent behaviour, others had been treated for schizophrenia. Both are exclusion criterias for legal ownership. But some shooters were still legal gun owners. Even the mass shooters of Alphen (NL) and Cumbria (UK) had been reported to the police because of their mental illness and strange behaviour. The young men in Alphen got his rifle by a corrupt police officer.

Full-scale surveillance is costly and arrests are no solution

According to the TIME Magazine the full-scale surveillance of a single individual for a year costs more than 5 million Euro.

According to the chairman of the German police association BDK you would need 4000 police officers for the most dangerous 180 islamists. These are not available – and there may be even more endangeres. He also denies preventive detention of potential attackers. “For these the presumption of innocence must apply, even if it still difficult. There should never be a German Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo.”

The second problem with arrests: In prisons highly ideological jihadists meet a vulnerable clientele. This is especially true for young offenders institutions. Two of the three assassins of Paris have gone through the major phases of their Islamist radicalization in prison. The same goes for Mehdi Nemmouche that in the Jewish Museum in Brussels shot and killed four people in spring 2014. The path of Mohammed Merah led by French prisons before he killed seven people in 2012 in Toulouse and Montauban.

We have a lot of laws and a lot of informations. 

Both cannot prevent all crimes.

The only way to stop an active crime is fast respond

European Jewish leader to governments: Change laws to let Jews carry guns that would allow them to feel ‘more secure’

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director general of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) and of the European Jewish Association (EJA) said he sent a letter to EU Interior Ministers which reads: ‘’We hereby ask that gun licensing laws are reviewed with immediate effect to allow designated people in the Jewish communities and institutions to own weapons for the essential protection of their communities, as well as receiving the necessary training to protect their members from potential terror attacks.”

“People are afraid to come to synagogue. People are afraid to go to Jewish schools.” He said that ‘’the police are not doing enough. We just need more. The best solution is having at least two police officers at each Jewish institution, 24 hours a day. Until that happens we need to be able to feel secure in other ways.” The weapons would all be registered. “We will be under the supervision of authorities. It would be completely controlled in the most professional way,” he added.

European Jewish Press, January 14, 2015

We agree with Rabbi Margolin, that carrying arms (with proper training and license) is the best protection.

We remind Rabbi Margolin, that an unarmed muslim saved the life of more than a dozen jews in the supermarket.

We all are soft targets.

We all have to protect ourselves and our neighbours and bystanders.

When we look to North Africa and Nigeria we see lots of ordinary people under attack by religious fanatics. And we also see ill-equipped or unwilling soldiers who are not able to protect their people. In the same week of the attack in Paris, where 17 people had been killed, another 2000 people had been killed in Nigeria. Nigeria came in spring 2014 in the news when more than 200 girls had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Back in May 2014 Dr. Peregrino Brimah demanded in an open letter to Governor Kashim Shettima:


Give Your People Guns To Defend Themselves!

Within the last three days, over 600 of the citizens of your state were slaughtered cheaply. They died at work, at the market, while bathing their children, in the farm. This is just one more week of death in your state. Your state is in global news because 234 girls were kidnapped in your state; these we know add to the hundreds who have been kidnapped, and abused till pregnancy or death by Boko Haram over the past four years. These girls, we know add to the more who have been kidnapped after April 15th and the boys of your state, and farmers of tomorrow who have likewise been kidnapped and forced at knife-point to become Boko Haram’s new recruits all through the four years.

Dear Governor Kashim Shettima, do you know that what has happened in Borno would never happen in any other state in Nigeria without the governor giving his people guns and a course in training so they can defend themselves? Your people are great warriors and Patriots. Let them defend themselves.

Open letter by, May 8, 2014

But civilian villagers have to defend themselves with mere rocks, bows and arrows, hunting shotguns, swords and “charms”.

Privat gun ownership produces political balance

Yemen, the country with the most private gun owners after the US, is unstable because of groups who fight each other for gaining power. But you won’t hear that whole villages are slaughtered. According to scientists the armed tribes of the country don’t follow any ideology but rather short-term interests (security, money, access to resources,etc.). The wide proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the (North) Yemen produces a political balance and prevented autocracy. In the past the Yemenis always increased support to the oppositional actor.

Elite panic

We want to remind the lawmakers and people in power, that their point of view towards their own people is not always neutral and realistic, but often manipulated by apocalyptic horror movies and influenced by security officers and their own personal attitude.

From the beginning of the field in the 1950s to the present, the major sociologists of disaster—Charles Fritz, Enrico Quarantelli, Kathleen Tierney, and Lee Clarke—proceeding in the most cautious, methodical, and clearly attempting-to-be-politically-neutral way of social scientists, arrived via their research to an enormous confidence in human nature and deep critique of institutional authority.

Interview with Rebecca Solnit

Caron Chess and Lee Clarke of Rutgers named the reaction of the people in power in times of crisis “elite panic”. Elites tend to sabotage grassroots efforts, e.g. self defense, because they fear to appear incompetent – and some will also project their own selfish and unscrupulous behavior towards mankind to the ordinary people who act – different to the rich and powerful – charitable and unselfish.

We recall here the heroes of Westgate described above. Rebecca Solnit wrotes in her book “A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster” lots of examples. We only quote the following:

During the evacuation of the World Trade Center a young man told his story: “I was evacuating with my coworkers; this sort of cloud of death was approaching. I’m an ex-college athlete, I could run faster than all of them, but I slowed down.” To slow down as death is approaching is completely contrary to who we think we are in an emergency. Most of us believe in the “you’ll trample me to save yourself, you’ll push me out of the lifeboat” premise.

We look now to the 34 active shooting incidents which the FBI listed as stopped by resistance of armed and unarmed off-duty officers, security guards and normal civilians.

We listed and sorted all 160 incidents mentioned by the FBI: PDF (361 KB)

13 incidents with intervention by armed people

On January 16, 2002, at 1:15 p.m., the shooter, 43, armed with a handgun, began shooting in the Appalachian School of Law located in Grundy, Virginia. Three people were killed; three were wounded. When the shooter left the building where the shooting took place, he was approached by two students with personal firearms and one unarmed student.

On March 5, 2001, at 9:20 a.m., the shooter, 15, armed with a handgun, began shooting in Santana High School in Santee, California. Two people were killed; 13 were wounded. The shooter was apprehended by an off-duty officer who heard gunshots. The shooters spoke on two occasions of his plan to “pull a Columbine” at Santana High School, but no reports were ever made of these threats to the school. He took his father’s Arminius .22 caliber long-action revolver from the locked gun cabinet in their apartment.

On March 22, 2001, at 12:55 p.m., the shooter, 18, armed with a shotgun and a handgun, began shooting in Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, California. No one was killed; five were wounded. The shooter was shot by police. He committed suicide in jail one week before sentencing. He was arrested by police officer Rich Agundez, who had been on campus during school hours since the shooting two weeks earlier at a high school within the same district.,_California)

On May 25, 2008, at 2:25 a.m.,the shooter, 30, armed with a handgun, began firing inside Player’s Bar and Grill in Winnemucca, Nevada. Two people were killed; two were wounded. The shooter was killed by a citizen with a valid firearm permit before police arrived. When the shooter was reloading his semi-automatic gun, a man from Reno took out his gun and shot him.

On June 10, 2009, at 12:52 p.m.,the shooter, 88, armed with a rifle, began shooting in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He shot the security guard who opened the door to the building and exchanged gunfire with other security guards. One person was killed; no one was wounded. The shooter was wounded and died in custody six months later. “… to bring this gunman down so quickly … saved the lives of countless people… This could have been much, much worse.”

On March 4, 2010, at 6:36 p.m., the shooter, 36, armed with a handgun, began shooting at Pentagon police officers as he approached the entrance to the security screening area at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. No one was killed; two federal law enforcement officers were wounded. The shooter wounded two Pentagon police officers at a security checkpoint in the Pentagon station of the Washington Metro rapid transit system. The officers returned fire, striking him in the head.

On May 27, 2010 at 1:00 p.m., the shooter, 79, armed with a handgun, began shooting in an AT&T Wireless Store in New York Mills, New York. He had recently been reported to the police by AT&T for harassing and threatening employees. No one was killed; one person was wounded. The shooter was killed by an off-duty police officer who was a customer in the store. The shooter entered the store with a .357 magnum in his hand, and a list containing the names of six employees he intended to shoot. The senior citizen shot at the first AT&T worker, Seth Turk, but was gunned down by an off-duty police officer.,news-6939.html

On December 14, 2010, at 2:14 p.m., the shooter, 56, armed with a handgun, began shooting during a school board meeting in the Nelson Administrative Building in Panama City, Florida. The shooter’s wife had previously been employed by the school district. After allowing several people to leave the room, the shooter fired in the direction of board members. No one was killed or wounded. The shooter committed suicide during an exchange of gunfire with the school district’s armed security. Despite four or five shots being fired from shooter’s gun, no board members were hit. He was shot again by Jones, the school’s police officer, fell to the ground, blindly fired a few more shots at Jones, then put the gun to his head and committed suicide.

On February 8, 2012, at 9:05 a.m., the shooter, 43, armed with a shotgun, began shooting as he entered the Middletown City Court in Middletown, New York. No one was killed; one police officer was wounded. The shooter was killed by police. The shooter entered a vestibule leading to Middletown City Court, walked past the empty office of Mayor Joseph DeStefano and fired a single blast at two court officers, hitting one in the arm, the chief said. The officers returned fire.

On March 8, 2012, at 1:40 p.m. the shooter, 30, armed with two handguns, began shooting inside the lobby of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One person was killed; seven were wounded, including one police officer. The shooter was killed by University of Pittsburgh police. Officers from the University of Pittsburgh police department arrived within “a matter of minutes” and “engaged” the gunman, the mayor added. “There is no doubt that their swift response saved lives today.”

On December 11, 2012, at 3:25 p.m., the shooer, 22, armed with a rifle, began shooting at people waiting to see Santa Claus in the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Happy Valley, Oregon. Two people were killed; one was wounded. The shooter committed suicide before police arrived. The shooter fired a total of seventeen shots, killing two people and seriously wounding a third person before being confronted by Nick Meli, a legally armed civilian. After being confronted by Meli, the shooter retreated behind a column and committed suicide.

On April 12, 2013, at 1:55 p.m., the shooter, 22, armed with a shotgun, began shooting in the New River Community College satellite campus in the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg, Virginia. No one was killed; two were wounded. The shooter was apprehended by police after being detained by an off-duty mall security officer as he attempted to flee.

On December 13, 2013, at 12:30 p.m., the shooter, 18, armed with a shotgun, machete, and three Molotov cocktails, began shooting in the hallways of Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado. As he moved through the school and into the library, he fired one additional round and lit a Molotov cocktail, throwing it into a bookcase and causing minor damage. One person was killed; no one was wounded. An armed school resource officer, Deputy James Englert of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, was on regular duty in the school at the time of the shooting, heard the shots, and ran towards the sounds. According to Sheriff Grayson Robinson, Pierson realized this, which was a “critical element to the shooter’s decision” to commit suicide.,_Colorado)#Shooting

13 incidents had been stopped by present and armed police officers, security guards, off-duty officers and civilians with personal firearms. 12 persons were killed; 37 were wounded.

Average deaths in a public shooting if armed persons were present: 0,9

21 incidents with intervention by unarmed people

On April 23, 2001 at 6:00 a.m., the female shooter, 36, armed with a handgun, began shooting in the Laidlaw Transit Services maintenance yard in San Jose, California. One person was killed; three were wounded. The shooter was restrained by a co-worker until police arrived and took her into custody. Police hailed bus driver Gregory Alan Lee, 37, for seizing the shooter minutes after the shooting began when she dropped her empty weapon on the ground. She still had bullets in her pockets, police said.

On July 4, 2002, at 11:30 a.m., the shooter, 43 or 41, entered Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, armed with two handguns. He began shooting while standing in line at the EL AL Israel Airlines ticket counter in the Tom Bradley International Terminal of LAX. Two people were killed; two were wounded, including one knife injury. After the gunman fired 10 bullets at the crowd, one of El Al’s security guards, who was unarmed, managed to knock him down. Meanwhile, El Al’s security officer, Chaim Sapir, ran to the scene but was stabbed by the assailant with a knife. Despite this, Sapir managed to draw shooter’s pistol and kill the gunman.

On July 17, 2003, at 7:00 p.m., the shooter, 58, armed with two rifles and two handguns, began shooting during a Kanawha County Board of Education meeting in Charleston, West Virginia. He attempted to light a board member on fire and fired one round at board members before three administrators wrestled the gun away from him. No one was killed; one was wounded. He fired several shots, but was unable to take aim before onlookers subdued him.

On July 28, 2003, at 11:40 a.m., the shooter, 45 or 47, armed with a handgun, began shooting in the Gold Leaf Nursery facility in Boynton Beach, Florida, where his estranged wife and the man he believed to be her boyfriend were employed. Three people, including his estranged wife, were killed; no one was wounded. The shooter told a Palm Beach County sheriff’s detective that he would have shot himself, but he ran out of bullets, and two nursery employees jumped him before he could reload his semiautomatic handgun, according to court documents

On September 24, 2003, at 11:35 a.m.,the shooter, 15, armed with a handgun, began shooting in Rocori High School in Cold Spring, Minnesota. A teacher at the school confronted the shooter and ordered him to place his gun on the ground. The shooter complied. Two people were killed; no one was wounded. Police took the shooter into custody. The shooter intended to shoot one special teacher and gave up his gun when confronted by the gym coach.

On February 9, 2004, at 10:30 a.m., the shooter, 16, armed with a shotgun, began shooting while entering Columbia High School in East Greenbush, New York. No one was killed; one person was wounded. The shooter was restrained by administrators before police arrived and took him into custody. The teachers reached the shooter as the gun recoiled and the two fell to the ground and one wrested the gun from the shooter.

On February 13, 2005, at 3:15 p.m., the shooter, 25, armed with a rifle, began shooting in the Best Buy at the Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston, New York. The shooter continued firing as he ran farther into the mall. No one was killed; two people were wounded. The Shooter continued firing his weapon until he ran out of ammunition, to which he promptly dropped his gun. At that point, a mall employee grabbed his gun, while another tackled the shooter.

On November 8, 2005, at 2:14 p.m., the shooter, 14, armed with a handgun, began shooting in Campbell County Comprehensive High School in Jacksboro, Tennessee. Before the shooting, he had been called to the office when administrators received a report that he had a gun. When confronted, he killed assistant principal Ken Bruce and wounded the principal and another assistant principal. The shooter was restrained by students and administrators until police arrived and took him into custody. When questioned, the shooter said that the gun belonged to his father, and he had stolen it to take to school with the intention of trading it for OxyContin.

On March 14, 2006, at 9:00 a.m., the shooter, 14, armed with a handgun, began shooting outside the cafeteria at Pine Middle School in Reno, Nevada. No one was killed; two were wounded. Several students and teachers heard the shots and the physical education teacher, Jencie Fagan, approached the shooter and challenged him. Fagan managed to convince him to drop his gun and then restrained him until more staff arrived to help.

On September 29, 2006, at 8:00 a.m.,the shooter, 15, armed with a handgun and a rifle, began shooting in Weston High School in Cazenovia, Wisconsin. One person was killed; no one was wounded. The shot victim was the principal John Alfred Klang who grabbed the handgun. The school custodian, Dave Thompson, wrestled the shotgun away from the shooter. Principal Klang then entered the hallway and confronted the shooter, who was still armed with the handgun. The shooter grabbed the revolver from inside his jacket and fired several shots. Klang grabbed him, wrestled him to the ground and swept away the gun.

On October 9, 2006, at 7:40 a.m., the shooter, 13, armed with a rifle and a handgun, began shooting in Memorial Middle School in Joplin, Missouri. Fascinated by the Columbine bloodbath, a 13-year-old boy in a dark green trenchcoat and mask carried an assault rifle into his school, pointed it at students and fired a shot into a ceiling before the weapon jammed, authorities said. Hearing the shot, the school principal located the shooter, escorted him from the building, and turned him over to police. No one was killed or wounded.

On July 27, 2008, at 10:18 a.m.,  the shooter, 58, armed with a shotgun, began shooting in the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Two people were killed; seven were wounded. The shooter was restrained by citizens before police arrived and took him into custody. Greg McKendry (60) stood in front of the gunman to protect others. The shooter was stopped when church members John Bohstedt, Robert Birdwell, Arthur Bolds, and Terry Uselton and visitor Jamie Parkey restrained him. The police arrived within 3 minutes. The shooter had written a suicide note and intended to keep firing until police officers arrived and killed him

On April 7, 2009 at 7:23 p.m., the shooter, 69, armed with a handgun, began shooting at residents in the Kkottongnae Retreat Camp in Temecula, California, where he was employed as a handyman. The shooter walked from cabin to cabin shooting residents until he was restrained by citizens. One person was killed; two were wounded. Authorities say he shot the Yuns and tried to shoot another couple who disarmed him in a fierce altercation.

On December 23, 2009, at 1:50 p.m., the shooter, 53, armed with a handgun, allegedly began shooting in the Grady Crawford Construction facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Two people were killed; one was wounded. The shooter was restrained by his co-workers until police arrived and took him into custody. Four people then wrestled him to the ground. One of them, a foreman at the construction company, put his finger between shooter’s finger and the trigger guard of his gun, stopping the gunman from shooting, Hicks said. The four people held him down until police arrived.

On February 23, 2010, at 3:10 p.m., the shooter, 32, armed with a rifle, began shooting in Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton, Colorado. No one was killed; two people were wounded. The shooter was restrained by teachers until police arrived and took him into custody. Teacher David Benke, a 6-foot-5 inch former college basketball player who oversees the school’s track team, tackled the suspect as he was trying to reload his weapon. “He was trying to rack another round. He couldn’t get another round in before I got to him so I grabbed him,” Benke said, recalling that he didn’t have time to fear for his life.

On October 8, 2010, at 12:10 p.m., the shooter, 41, armed with a handgun, began shooting at Kelly Elementary School in Carlsbad, California, after having jumped the school fence. No one was killed; two students were wounded. The shooter was tackled and restrained by nearby construction workers until police arrived and took him into custody. Three construction workers who saw the shooting and then subdued the gunman are being credited with saving further carnage. Construction worker Carlos Partida, 30, of Chula Vista, used his pickup truck to knock down him. He and co-workers Steven Kane and Mario Contreras then held him until police arrived.

On January 8, 2011, at 10:10 a.m., the shooter, 22, armed with a handgun, began shooting during a congressional town hall meeting sponsored by U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords outside a Safeway store in Tucson, Arizona. Six people were killed; 13 were wounded, including Rep. Giffords. The shooter was restrained by citizens before police arrived and took him into custody. The shooter stopped to reload, but dropped the loaded magazine from his pocket to the sidewalk, from where bystander Patricia Maisch grabbed it. Another bystander clubbed the back of the assailant’s head with a folding chair, injuring his elbow in the process, representing the 14th injury. The shooter was tackled to the ground by 74-year-old retired United States Army Colonel Bill Badger, who had been shot himself, and was further subdued by Maisch and bystanders Roger Sulzgeber and Joseph Zamudio. Zamudio was a CCW holder and had a weapon on his person, but arrived after the shooting had stopped and did not draw his firearm.

On August 27, 2012, at 10:45 a.m., the shooter, 15, armed with a shotgun, shot a classmate in the cafeteria of Perry Hall High School in Baltimore, Maryland. The shooter had an altercation with another student before the shooting began. He left the cafeteria and returned with a gun. No one was killed; one person was wounded. The shooter was restrained by a guidance counselor before being taken into custody by the school’s resource officer. Witnesses said a school counselor quickly grabbed the shooter and pinned him up against a vending machine.

On January 10, 2013, at 8:59 a.m., the shooter, 16, armed with a shotgun, allegedly began shooting in a science class at Taft Union High School in Taft, California. No one was killed; two people were wounded. An administrator persuaded the shooter to put the gun down before police arrived and took him into custody. Teacher Ryan Heber and campus supervisor Kim Lee Fields both helped evacuate the students out of the room and persuaded the gunman to drop his weapon and surrender.

On August 5, 2013, at 7:19 p.m., the shooter, 59, armed with a rifle and a handgun, entered the Ross Township Municipal Building in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, during a Ross Township meeting. He allegedly shot through a wall into the meeting room and then entered the room and continued firing. He had a history of disputes with the township over permits for his home. Three people were killed; two were wounded. The shooter was restrained by citizens until police arrived and took him into custody. While the gunman was still shooting, Bernard Kozen and Mark Krashe struggled with him over the gun. They subdued, disarmed, and held him, preventing further deaths and injuries.

On October 21, 2013, at 7:16 a.m., the shooter, 12, armed with a handgun, began shooting outside Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nevada. A teacher was killed when he confronted the shooter; two people were wounded. The shooter committed suicide before police arrived. A math teacher, Michael Landsberry, who was trying to intervene with the gunman was then shot and killed, as he was standing on a playground. The shooter then shot and wounded a 12-year-old student, Mason Davis, who tried to come to Landsberry’s assistance after he fell onto the ground. Davis suffered an injury to his abdomen. The shooter then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

21 incidents had been stopped by unarmed civilians and unarmed guards. 25 persons were killed; 47 were wounded.

Average deaths in a public shooting with unarmed resistance: 1,2

Average deaths when armed civilians, off-duty or guards intervened: 0,9

Average deaths when unarmed civilians or unarmed guards intervened: 1,2

Average deaths when police arrived: 3,8 Average deaths when shooter committed suicide before police arrived: 3,6

Average deaths when shooter fled the scene before police arrived: 2,0

The average of wounded people are similar.

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