Posts Tagged mall shooting

Facts and History about American Mall Shooting [4]

Posted by admin on Saturday, 27 June, 2009

Truth about ASI and Mall Violence

The following are statistical commonalities of an ASI;

  • Most ASI last between 8 to 15  minutes.
  • 98% of active killers act alone .
  • 80% have rifles and 75% have more than one weapons (on average about 3 weapons per incident.)
  • ASI shooter typically ambushes their target by surprise and then hunts down stunned and paralyzed bystanders .
  • They are not confrontational when police presence are visible, and surrender quickly when confronted with an armed person .
  • 90% of the shooter commits suicide on-site .
  • 22% of the shooter taking their own life before the police can respond.
  • From events profiled from 2004 to 2008, 67% of the shooters were between the age of 15 and 25, while 33% are older than 25.
  • Unarmed civilian have interrupted or ended an ASI episode 50% of the time .*
  • Armed civilian have interrupted or ended an ASI episode 25% of the time .

*This is not advocating unarmed civilian should attempt to engage a shooter. Law Enforcement recommends civilian should either hide or getaway from the shooter and leave the confrontation to the police.

Recent Major Mall Shooting Accidents

Date Location Mall Name Wound Death
5/29/1972 Raleigh, NC North Hills Mall 8 4
2/21/1983 Baton Rogue, LO Mall of Louisiana 1 0
10/30/1985 Delaware County, PA Springfield Mall 7 3
6/24/1988 Plantation, FL Broward Mall 1 0
4/23/1990 Atlanta, GA Perimeter Mal 4 1
8/5/1996 Gloucester County, NJ Deptford Mall 2 2
6/21/1998 Brooklyn, NY Fulton Mall 8 0
4/28/2000 McKees Rocks, PA Robinson Town Center 0 2
12/23/2001 Los Angeles, CA Slauson Super Mall 3 0
11/18/2004 St. Petersburg, FL Gateway Shopping Mall 1 3
2/13/2005 Kingston, NY Hudson Valley Mall 2 0
11/20/2005 Tacoma, WA Tacoma Mall 6 0
5/27/2006 Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall 1 1
11/18/2006 Annapolis, MD Westfield Annapolis Mall 2 0
2/12/2007 Salt Lake City, UT Trolley Square Mall 4 6
4/29/2007 Kansas City, MO Ward Parkway Center 2 4
6/13/2007 Columbia, SC Columbiana Shopping Center 1 1
11/27/2007 Houston, TX Greenspoint Mall 0 2
12/5/2007 Omaha, NE Westroads Mall 4 9
1/26/2008 Jacksonville, FL Regency Square Mall 1 1
2/2/2008 Tinley Park, IL Lane Bryant Store 1 5
3/15/2008 Tukwila, WA Westfield Southcenter Mall 1 0
4/3/2008 Miami, FL Dolphin Mall 0 0
6/17/2008 Tampa, FL Lakeland Mall 1 0
7/2/2008 Atlanta, GA Popular Coffee Shop 2 0
10/8/2008 Nashville, TN Knoxville Center Mall 1 1
11/5/2008 West Ashley, FL Citadel Mall 1 1
12/23/2008 Rockville, MD Westfield Wheaton Shopping Centre 3 0
3/26/2009 Moreno Valley, CA Moreno Valley Mall 4 0

In the 30 shooting profiled on the table, 29 of the suspect were male. The sole female shooter was Sylvia Seegris , who was 25 years old when she started her rampage on October 30, 1985. On that day, she entered the Springfield Mall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she was armed with a Ruger Mini 14 rifle and fired twenty rifle rounds. In the process, two men and a two-year old toddler were killed and seven bystanders were wounded.

When she was disarmed and restrained by an unarmed shopper, she was asked why she did what she did. Sylvia said, “My family makes me nervous”. Like Robert Hawkins, Sylvia Seegrist had a long history of mental disturbances, which includes extensive struggle with paranoid schizophrenia, and she was committed and discharged from mental institution numerous times.
Despite the gruesome violence that occasionally surface around malls, and the number of people caught up in the rampage, malls are some of the safest public spaces in the world. Newer American malls are developed away from crime-heavy area for safety reason as well as demographic.  In the 37 years profiled mall shooting, only 30 shooting spree were recorded, and the total wounded were at 76 and total death at 48. While this seems like a large number, according to International Council of Shopping Centers, 190 million people visit the U.S. malls a month.

Malls are among the safest environments in American social life. It is where we work, play, socialize and relax. Violence at the mall is dramatic because it happens so rarely and when it does happen, it is also intense and dramatized by the media reporting. The extreme and rare nature of ASI at the mall creates unfounded fear and irrational dread. With increasing awareness, improved security training, and more vigilant guards, mall violence will surely be as rare as a movie about a mall robbery that ends happily.

(End.)


Facts and History about American Mall Shooting [3]

Posted by admin on Saturday, 27 June, 2009
National Security Implication
Ever since the 9/11 terrorists attacks on the United States, Homeland Security and state officials are concerned about attacks on retail malls. They worry that malls across the country might become “soft” targets for terrorists, since malls give potential shooter a large number of targets, high media visibility, lack of an onsite armed security response, and easy space to escape from. Many popular culture content creators have already explored this type of nightmare scenario. Tom Clancy, the military thriller writer who predicted the use of 747 as a weapon of mass destruction on the US Capitol Building, wrote about Islamic terrorists attacking an American mall in his novel, “The Teeth of the Tiger. ”  The popular real-time action drama “24”, starting Kiefer Sutherland, also had an episode where the terrorist attacks a busy shopping mall with nerve gas .

National Security Implication

Ever since the 9/11 terrorists attacks on the United States, Homeland Security and state officials are concerned about attacks on retail malls. They worry that malls across the country might become “soft” targets for terrorists, since malls give potential shooter a large number of targets, high media visibility, lack of an onsite armed security response, and easy space to escape from. Many popular culture content creators have already explored this type of nightmare scenario. Tom Clancy, the military thriller writer who predicted the use of 747 as a weapon of mass destruction on the US Capitol Building, wrote about Islamic terrorists attacking an American mall in his novel, “The Teeth of the Tiger. ”  The popular real-time action drama “24”, starting Kiefer Sutherland, also had an episode where the terrorist attacks a busy shopping mall with nerve gas .

Making Mall More Secure

The increase of mall violence in 2007 and 2008 prompted most mall operators to hire more security guards and increase the number of mall patrols. While these measures improves the public’s confidence in the safety of retails malls, most security experts do not believe the measure will be effective in deterring a determined shooter. Some advocates propose a more secure physical environment like those used in Israel. Where terrorist bombing and shooting occurs frequently, armed security officers guard all Israeli public spaces, access to public spaces are monitor by metal detectors and vehicles searched for bomb and firearms. However, American mall operators point out that the proposed security precaution will have a significant chilling effect on mall visitation.  No one expects retail malls to implement any drastic security upgrades such as those used in Israel, even in the face of rising violence.

Although mall operators won’t implement security screening and access control, law enforcement, mall and retail operators are making more effort to improve emergency responses. The biggest law enforcement paradigm shift came after the Columbine massacre in Colorado. Prior to Columbine, the law enforcement’s standard operating procedure has been to contain-and-defuse. This time-tested strategy has worked well when dealing with bank robbery, hostage situation, and domestic disturbance, but the Columbine School massacre rendered the containment strategy ineffective by showing that some shooter plan on dying in the process of their rampage and just wants to inflict as much carnage as possible before they go out in a blaze of glory.

The lesson after Columbine has been that time is essential to reduce the loss of life that might occur if the police respond with the traditional contain-and-defuse strategy. Especially after 9/11, law enforcement now responds to an “active shooter incidence” by locating and disabling the shooter first before securing bystanders and the environment. In an ASI situation, first responders will not render medical and other assistances until the police conclude the hunt for the shooter. In situation, most bystanders might be detained and treated as suspects until the law enforcement agents can be certain that the shooter is no longer active, and then move to secure and assist.

Working to complement the changes in local law enforcement strategy during an ASI, the National Retail Association, International Council of Shopping Centers and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have created an emergency response protocols for ASI. The protocol recommends the mall operators and retail owners create operating procedure and train the employees on what to do when faced with an ASI. In the 15 page publication, the retail operators are asked to establish policies that deals with store employee response, improved communication and premise access with local law enforcement, training employees on what to expect from first responder, how to assist local law enforcement, and post-shooting issues.

(To Be Continued…)


Facts and History about American Mall Shooting [2]

Posted by admin on Saturday, 27 June, 2009
Active Shooter Incidence

When the media reports an act of mall violence, the image that comes to the viewer’s mind is that of a lone gunman running through the mall and firing weapons into the shoppers and staff. Law enforcement refers to this type of situation as Active Shooter Incidence (ASI). This is a scenario where the shooter has chosen the mall as a target zone, intends to commit their violent act within the confine of the mall, and are prepared to die either through suicide or death-by-cop. The term “Active Shooter Incidence” made it into the American vocabulary after the horrific Columbine High School massacre. On April 20, 1999, two teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold carried out deadliest high school shooting on American soil using pistols, shotguns, rifles and homemade explosives. Their murder-suicide rampage left 15 dead, 24 injured, and a nation in shock . Even though the Columbine type of school shooting has became more numerous since, American history has less experience with an ASI in the mall on the same scale as Columbine.

On Memorial Day, 1972, Harvey McLeod hid between cars parked in the North Hills Mall parking lot and fired his .22 caliber rifle into mall patrons just as U.S. Senator B. Everett Jordan was campaigning inside the mall. After McLeod had killed three people and wounded eight, he turned his rifle on himself and died from the wound. At first, the police thought the killing was an attempt on Senator Jordan’s life but later determine Harvey McLeod’s act was random violence .

At 11am, March 27, 2009, at the Moreno Valley Mall near the University of California, Riverside, a man in a ski mask walked through the mall and shot four people with a pellet gun.  The shooter escaped through an emergency exit and was not immediately apprehended. Of the four people he shot, two were employees at a retail kiosk and two were customers. The gunman’s pellet bruised all four victims but none suffered serious injuries. The shooter remains at large even as of today.

Active Shooter Incidence

When the media reports an act of mall violence, the image that comes to the viewer’s mind is that of a lone gunman running through the mall and firing weapons into the shoppers and staff. Law enforcement refers to this type of situation as Active Shooter Incidence (ASI). This is a scenario where the shooter has chosen the mall as a target zone, intends to commit their violent act within the confine of the mall, and are prepared to die either through suicide or death-by-cop. The term “Active Shooter Incidence” made it into the American vocabulary after the horrific Columbine High School massacre. On April 20, 1999, two teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold carried out deadliest high school shooting on American soil using pistols, shotguns, rifles and homemade explosives. Their murder-suicide rampage left 15 dead, 24 injured, and a nation in shock . Even though the Columbine type of school shooting has became more numerous since, American history has less experience with an ASI in the mall on the same scale as Columbine.

On Memorial Day, 1972, Harvey McLeod hid between cars parked in the North Hills Mall parking lot and fired his .22 caliber rifle into mall patrons just as U.S. Senator B. Everett Jordan was campaigning inside the mall. After McLeod had killed three people and wounded eight, he turned his rifle on himself and died from the wound. At first, the police thought the killing was an attempt on Senator Jordan’s life but later determine Harvey McLeod’s act was random violence .

At 11am, March 27, 2009, at the Moreno Valley Mall near the University of California, Riverside, a man in a ski mask walked through the mall and shot four people with a pellet gun.  The shooter escaped through an emergency exit and was not immediately apprehended. Of the four people he shot, two were employees at a retail kiosk and two were customers. The gunman’s pellet bruised all four victims but none suffered serious injuries. The shooter remains at large even as of today.

Investigators created a profile of Robert Hawkins and found a stereotypical lone shooter. Robert Hawkins had a lifelong struggle with psychiatric problem ever since the age of six. He was sent to a mental institution for four years at the age of fourteen, during which time he was made a ward of the state of Omaha. He also had juvenile conviction for felony drug conviction, ticket for underage alcohol possession, and the investor found a history of marijuana usage. What triggered Robert Hawkins’s rampage appears to be losing his job at McDonald for reportedly stealing seventeen dollars, separation from his girlfriend two weeks prior to the shooting, and his upcoming court appearance for underage possession of alcohol.

(To Be Continued…)


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