The Advent of Mobile Killers

Discussion in 'Training' started by lklawson, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    The Advent of Mobile Killers (An Observation About Two Recent Active Killer Events)
    by Greg Ellifritz
    7:00am Thursday, March 10, 2016

    Within the last two weeks there have been two very high profile active killer events in the United States. The first was when an Uber driver shot eight people in Michigan. The second was when a lawnmower manufacturing worker shot 17 people in Kansas.

    Even though the two killings had nothing to do with each other and were thousands of miles apart, the killers used similar tactics. The tactics they used have only recently been adopted by active killers. It is critical for you to understand what these killers are doing so that you can help police work to quickly stop the killings in the event that the next one happens in your neighborhood.

    The first tactic the killers had in common was the fact that they both conducted shootings across three different locations. They would shoot a person (or people) and then drive to a different location to shoot some more. These killers know that police no longer wait for SWAT to handle crimes like this. The first officer on scene will aggressively try to stop the killer with gunfire. If the killers want to amass a large body count, they have to quickly change locations before the cops show up.

    The second similar tactic the killers used was switching automobiles between attacks. The Uber driver switched vehicles after his first shooting. The lawnmower company employee started out his shooting spree with a drive by shooting. Shortly after that, he ditched the vehicle used by the drive by and carjacked a man (shooting him in the process) to get a new car. He drove the second car to the plant where he did the majority of his shooting.

    Changing vehicles makes it difficult for police to capture the shooter in between his targeted locations. It also confuses police response. Officers think they have separate crimes committed by different people and begin tracking down leads independently of the other ongoing investigations(s). That wastes valuable time and allows the killer to continue to operate without fear of being shot by police.

    I have written about both of these tactics before in articles titled Mobile Killers and Confronting the Mobile Killer. I predict we will see active killers embracing this tactic even more in the future. It slows police response and buys them more time to rack up the bodies.

    What can you do to help police stop the killing in events like these?

    Get good vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers of the cars used by the fleeing killers.

    Most victims and witnesses in active killer events are scared and (rightfully) primarily concerned with their own safety. Few take note of the killer’s vehicle as they attempt to provide first aid to the victims or are seeking cover for themselves.

    If you are near one of these events and hear gunshots, take the time to look for any vehicles that are speeding away from the scene. Note the description of any vehicle that is entered by an obviously armed person at such a scene. Get on the phone to police and give them the accurate description.

    Get the license plate number if you can. If not get the color of the car, the make and model, and very importantly the DIRECTION OF TRAVEL of the escaping shooter. These are the critical pieces of information responding officers need to track down the killer.

    This is an important concept to teach everyone in your family. Even if you have friends or family who are unable or unwilling to respond to such a crime with lethal force, everyone can be alert and catch a description of a fleeing car. Make sure that the people you love know that doing that will be the most important thing they can do to reduce fatalities at a future active killer crime scene.

    Greg Ellifritz is the full time firearms and defensive tactics training officer for a central Ohio police department. He holds instructor or master instructor certifications in more than 75 different weapon systems, defensive tactics programs and police specialty areas. Greg has a master's degree in Public Policy and Management and is an instructor for both the Ohio Peace Officer's Training Academy and the Tactical Defense Institute.

    For more information or to contact Greg, visit his training site at Active Response Training.

    Peace favor your sword,
  2. Police through no fault of there own are always behind the curve on active shooters. Since shooters do not tell police of their plans, they can only react after the shooting has started.

    While not a complete solution it still is better than being behind the curve. Remove gun free zones, encourage more people to take responsibility for their own safety. Armed resistance is still reactive, but it is much less delayed than police response.