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Discussion Starter · #182 ·
While I want to agree with the 'give the facts time to come out' I cannot think of a reason to not go in ASAP. This was never a hostage barricade, this was a barricaded active shooter. As long as he has access to additional victims and he is preventing you from obtaining medical treatment for those he shot then you still have active killing going on.
It depends on what was going on. It’s the hunting of additional victims part rather than those who are bleeding out that would say it was or wasn’t a barricaded hostage situation. For example, the Pulse nightclub shooting became a hostage situation. And victims bled out.
Did this “ chief” know that the kids that were still alive in that room only because they were hiding? Or did he believe the gunman was holding them?
When were the victims shot? In the beginning or was it during that 40 minutes of waiting?
Was the gunfire that killed those kids mistaken for gunfire at the cops and why?
More information is needed like that story of a cop shouting “ does anyone in there need help”, a little girl answered and got shot. Could that voice have been the gunman instead pretending to be a cop? It’s happened before. If it was the gunman, all the more reason to go in but it shows how the information we are given is tainted and still needs to be sorted out.

Was the “ chief” the initial coordinator, among the first to respond or did he come in later?
More info is needed. The true decision maker was those cops who engaged first and the decision not to press the attack
 

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Discussion Starter · #183 · (Edited)
Sometimes it is time to embrace the suck and just take the action knowing there's no up side to the situation. I've stared that situation in the face and did what was needed. I will do so again if needed. I would trade my life for a child's.
Just adding something to think about since they appear not to have had eyes on what was going on in the classroom.
You charge that fatal funnel and lose. What stops the gunman from moving to the next classroom?
How many rounds did you fire already? How many do you have left that point?
The gunman locked the door. How are you going to take that door? He may have been shooting through the door. Do you blindly return fire not knowing if he is using kids as human shields or not?
Too many questions right now. Hindsight is 20/20.
I am speaking of those cops outside those doors in the beginning who initially engaged the gunman before those quiet 911 calls from those kids came in.
 

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Here in CO, we do. There can be a lack of prosecutorial appetite at times, but I have an active case on an attempt POWPO. There are a variety of applicable felony state charges we can stack. My experience (including time as a federal TFO) is that the USAO is a waste of time and shoe leather, even with a SAUSA assigned to us.
The local DA feels the defendant saying "I didn't realize I was a felon" is an airtight defense to a prohibited person trying to buy a firearm from an FFL.

Felon in possession gets probation through the state courts.

Felon in possession in federal court, if the suspect qualifies as a "violent offender" gets 5-7 years. But it needs to be a rock solid case.

I'm glad other places do better.

The bigger issue IMHO, is that the same politicians that are demanding more gun laws, are often the same one demanding "bail reform", no new jails, and railing against "mass incarceration".

If they want more laws, they should have a plan when people don't obey those laws.
 

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Rule number one in my book , agency heads should never take command of a crisis situation . They are too removed from reality to make the right call.


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Rule number one in my book , agency heads should never take command of a crisis situation . They are too removed from reality to make the right call.


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I think a lot depends on the individual agency and the individual head but, yeah, many heads just need to go deal with other things.
 

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I think a lot depends on the individual agency and the individual head but, yeah, many heads just need to go deal with other things.
No matter the size , they have other jobs and being point in a fast moving crisis / tactical decision is a horrible combination I have never seen it end well.

Their job is to get the support needed and keep the politicians and media at bay . When they are added into the decision making mix it's a disaster.


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A chief of a 5 man department is probably still on patrol himself..
And he has other jobs and likely would not be in charge once it reaches the level this situation did . This agency had a SWAT team .


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No matter the size , they have other jobs and being point in a fast moving crisis / tactical decision is a horrible combination I have never seen it end well.

Their job is to get the support needed and keep the politicians and media at bay . When they are added into the decision making mix it's a disaster.


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In my opinion only, yes and no. If it’s a smaller rural agency they might be among the first on scene, the most experienced, the best trained, and the cavalry might be 30 minutes away. They’ve got to get stuck in and get the job done.

Agencies where there’s more depth and a broader talent pool? Absolutely keep the suits in their safe place and let those in the correct role handle business.
 

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In my opinion only, yes and no. If it’s a smaller rural agency they might be among the first on scene, the most experienced, the best trained, and the cavalry might be 30 minutes away. They’ve got to get stuck in and get the job done.

Agencies where there’s more depth and a broader talent pool? Absolutely keep the suits in their safe place and let those in the correct role handle business.
This situation should have been over in 30 minutes I am not talking about a 2-5 man response . As a general rule the boss has no business running a tactical crisis scene .


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This situation should have been over in 30 minutes I am not talking about a 2-5 man response . As a general rule the boss has no business running a tactical crisis scene .
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Of course I agree that in an ideal world the chief isn’t running the tactical scene. As you know, better than I, I suspect, the world isn’t always ideal. For larger agencies the boss can and should let the on scene experts handle it. Stay the hell out of the way and do Chief stuff. For smaller agencies this simply isn’t always an option. If there’s only a few boots on the ground and one of them is El Jeffe, he’d better be taking charge and doing grunt work, at least until he can be relieved by someone else.
 

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Just adding something to think about since they appear not to have had eyes on what was going on in the classroom.
You charge that fatal funnel and lose. What stops the gunman from moving to the next classroom?
How many rounds did you fire already? How many do you have left that point?
The gunman locked the door. How are you going to take that door? He may have been shooting through the door. Do you blindly return fire not knowing if he is using kids as human shields or not?
Too many questions right now. Hindsight is 20/20.
I am speaking of those cops outside those doors in the beginning who initially engaged the gunman before those quiet 911 calls from those kids came in.
In short, the rest of those 19 guys standing around with their thumbs in their ass.
 

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The choice of having the chief of the 6 man school police department as your incident commander is an odd one. He's in charge of the smallest agency with the fewest resources. Other than he and his officers being more familiar with the specific layout of the school, they don't bring much to the table.

Ideally all of the local agencies would have gotten together beforehand and hammered all of this out with mutual aid agreements and MOUs. I suspect that they hadn't formally done that and incident command fell to Arredondo by default since it was his turf. He was clearly not the best choice.

I can't fault him for switching gears from active shooter to barricaded subject after the initial gunfire stopped. As was pointed out earlier, if the timeline is correct, there was a 37 minute gap without gunshots. So, okay, Ramos is a barricade and not an active shooter now. Got it.

But once BORTAC arrived Arredondo clearly should have deployed them to the hall to prepare for an assault if Ramos started shooting again. It is absolutely inexplicable to me why he didn't have them ready to go ASAP, even if there was some thought that they were going to try negotiations or something.

Typical admin weenie vaporlock is the only way I can figure it. Good thing that BORTAC decided to take matters into their own hands, but we're only able to say that because it worked out and only Ramos was killed in their assault. If one of the BORTAC guys had thrown a round that killed a hostage, the same people screeching about "How could the police just stand there while babies were dying?!" would be screeching twice as loudly about "Rogue Federal goons going in to play cowboy without authorization killing innocent Latinx babies!!" They'd be demanding that the BORTAC team be charged with Manslaughter for acting without lawful orders.

Arredondo's ineptitude exposed those guys to a lot of unnecessary liability. I'm glad they were willing to pick it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #195 ·
This situation should have been over in 30 minutes I am not talking about a 2-5 man response . As a general rule the boss has no business running a tactical crisis scene .


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Where I worked, a boss is the one who runs such a scene. A junior boss like a sergeant but it moves up as the bigger brass arrive. Not the tac teams themselves but rather the operation . Even the Alerrt active shooter training goes into the management of the scene for bosses from who is running the tac teams, staging area, EMT escorts etc.
Great training and war gaming
 

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Discussion Starter · #196 · (Edited)
In short, the rest of those 19 guys standing around with their thumbs in their ass.
Those 19 guys weren’t there yet when the true decision needed to be made, when the push forward needed to be done . Before the killer could set up.
The shots had alledgedly stopped. Again, what if the killer put human shields on the doors . Go look at the Pulse Nightclub response, both good and the bad. Rushing the door in that case would have gotten more people killed.
And how would you breach that locked door if was a security door. The real tac tram had to wait for a key.
I don’t know the set up of the school and the room. Was it exterior facing with windows? What kind of walls were there?
 

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The choice of having the chief of the 6 man school police department as your incident commander is an odd one. He's in charge of the smallest agency with the fewest resources. Other than he and his officers being more familiar with the specific layout of the school, they don't bring much to the table.
I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but perhaps it was a jurisdictional issue? I work for the largest agency in my area, but if we go into a smaller neighboring city, we pretty much have to abide by their requests. Their house, their rules. Never mind that we have more resources than they do. It’s just the way it is.
 
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Those 19 guys weren’t there yet when the true decision needed to be made, when push forward needed to be done . Before the killer could set up.
The shots had alledgedly stopped. Again, what if the killer put human shields on the doors . Go look at the Pulse Nightclub response, both good and the bad. Rushing the door in that case would have gotten more people killed.
And how would you breach that locked door if was a security door. The real tac tram had to wait for a key
Those 19 were there very early on, shortly after 12. Get that janitor moving earlier, instead of 45 minutes later.
 

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Of course I agree that in an ideal world the chief isn’t running the tactical scene. As you know, better than I, I suspect, the world isn’t always ideal. For larger agencies the boss can and should let the on scene experts handle it. Stay the hell out of the way and do Chief stuff. For smaller agencies this simply isn’t always an option. If there’s only a few boots on the ground and one of them is El Jeffe, he’d better be taking charge and doing grunt work, at least until he can be relieved by someone else.
I work for a larger agency and the way it works is that the incident commander is generally a sergeant or a lieutenant. They are actively running the tactical incident. However, when Captains and Commanders and Chiefs start to show up, the incident commander will ask if they are assuming incident command. In almost all circumstances, the command staff will defer to the tactical incident commander because they don’t want to or can‘t run an active tactical operation. That being said, inexplicably, some command staff will try and interject and give directions anyways. It’s totally disregarding incident command protocol, but it’s not unusual for a member of the command staff to override a tactical decision made by the incident commander. In the past, we have had some infamous incidents when things went terribly wrong, and the command staff tried to throw the incident commander under the bus for a decision the higher up made. In the end, it becomes a mess settled in the courts, and usually results in a retirement or two.
 

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@SAR

The school would be within the borders of the town or at least the county, so the larger agencies should have concurrent jurisdiction if they choose to exercise it. At least that's how it works around here.

For purposes of critical incident command the decision between all of those agencies as to who was going to be in charge should have been worked out beforehand. I'm guessing that they weren't, which is how Arredondo ended up in charge by default.
 
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