A gunman wielding a stolen semi-automatic rifle and several fully loaded magazines opens fire inside a shopping mall teeming with as many as 10,000 people. Yet, only two people are killed and one wounded. Sheer luck, or were authorities and mall officials well-prepared?
Probably a bit of both, say law enforcement and security experts, some of whom credit new police tactics and better security training at schools and public venues for helping to minimize the casualties at the Clackamas Town Center near Portland, Ore.
"I want to say that we were well-prepared for this incident because we had practice in active shooter techniques at the Clackamas Town Center this past year for this type of situation," Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said at a news conference Wednesday
"Law enforcement has learned from past tragedies throughout this country that we can't wait for SWAT teams, and teams need to deploy immediately," Roberts said. "So we trained and equipped each of our individual officers to form up in teams as they arrive and move immediately into engaging the threat, wherever it might be."
That's a tactic that many law enforcement agencies began instituting in the aftermath of the April 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, where two young gunmen, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, shot to death 12 students and a teacher and injured 21 others before killing themselves.
Swarming police response in mall shooting highlights 'paradigm shift' since Columbine - U.S. News