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Surviving a Hostage Situation in a Classroom Environment Andrew Taylor Safety and Loss Control Director Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

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Presentation on theme: "Surviving a Hostage Situation in a Classroom Environment Andrew Taylor Safety and Loss Control Director Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Surviving a Hostage Situation in a Classroom Environment Andrew Taylor Safety and Loss Control Director Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning

2 Threat Assessment April 16, 2007: A gunman kills 32 people in a dorm and a classroom at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. The gunman later dies. 1991…5 + 1 (2)…University of Iowa 1996…3………….San Diego State 2000…1 + 1……..University of Arkansas 2002…3 + 1……..University of Arizona 2002…3 (2)……..Appalachian School of Law 2006…3…………Shepherd University

3 Closer to Home… 16 year old Pearl High School student stabs mother to death before school. Shoots nine students, killing two. Two accomplices were involved in plan. Pearl High School generates many of our incoming freshmen students.

4 Threat Assessment There are 28 active Hate Groups located in Mississippi. Southern Poverty Law Center 7/2007

5 Hostage Taker vs. Active Shooter Hostage Taker  Captures hostages to use as “brokering chips” for: Money Politics Revenge Personal gain or safety Active Shooter  Kills victims To “make a statement”, for their “cause” To destroy a target

6 Phases of a Hostage Situation (Phase 1) Capture Phase : From this… …to this

7 Phases of a Hostage Situation Capture Phase  Most dangerous phase  Intruder is trying to take control  Often chaotic and violent  Often best chance to escape  Must assess intent rapidly Hostage Taker or Killer

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9 Phases of a Hostage Situation (Phase 1) Capture Phase  If you discern the intruder’s goal is to detain people or take control of your facility for negotiation purposes, remain calm!!!!  If the intruder is actively using a weapon to kill people, you must either “get out” or “take out”! You have a third choice of staying still / playing dead / doing nothing. Being shot in place is no safer than attempting to get out or take out, in this situation.

10 Phases of a Hostage Situation (Phase 1) Capture Phase(if killing is intruder’s intent)  Get out – escape any way possible. Use whatever exit is available and run until you are safe.  Take out – disarm and disable the intruder(s) as quickly as possible with as much force as needed. Consider that victims outnumber intruders…swarm Victims can disrupt focus and time frame…moving targets Don’t allow time for reloading or changing weapons "The fact that someone walks into a classroom with a gun does not make them a god. Five or six seventh-grade kids and a 95-pound art teacher can basically challenge, bring down and immobilize a 200-pound man with a gun.“ Robin Browne, Response Options

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12 Phases of a Hostage Situation (Phase 2) Internment Phase  Could last a few hours or a few weeks  Negotiations take place, hostage takers are busy  Employ the “3 C’s”: Calm…calm hostages lead to calm hostage takers. Connect…gain their trust and respect as a person, not a brokering chip. Build rapport. Capitalize…on escape or rescue opportunities.

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14 Phases of a Hostage Situation (Phase 3) Resolution Phase  80% of hostages worldwide survive their ordeal  Only 3% are killed after kidnap Resolutions typically happen in one of three ways: Negotiated Release Armed Rescue Escape

15 Negotiated Release Requires time and patience for negotiations Usually is the safest option

16 Armed Rescue Rescuers must be able to tell hostages from hostage takers Follow instructions such as “lie down, keep still, identify yourself” Make sure rescuers can see your empty hands If unsure what to do – stay low

17 Escape Most risky option Must weigh against the risk of not escaping You are betting with your life

18 Capture Phase If Killer (Active Shooter) Get out Or Take Out If Hostage Taker Internment Phase Resolution Phase Negotiated Release Armed Rescue Escape Calm – Connect - Capitalize

19 Safe Travel Institute N. 108 Washington, Suite 300 Spokane, WA Phone: Toll Free: Fax:


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