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Student: I heard shot that killed teacher

Kelsey Friend, a student who survived the school shooting in Florida, describes the moment one of her teacher's was shot and killed.

Posted: Feb 17, 2018 8:32 PM
Updated: Feb 17, 2018 8:32 PM

They rush straight to the gunfire.

That's how the April 1999 massacre at Columbine High School -- where two young men killed 13 people -- shaped the way law enforcement respond to active shooter incidents such as Wednesday's deadly rampage in Parkland, Florida.

"It changed everything," said James Gagliano, a retired member of the FBI's elite hostage rescue team.

"Prior to Columbine, nobody understood what the term 'active shooter' meant."

Nearly two decades ago, a pair of Littleton, Colorado, students named Dylan Klebold, 17, and Eric Harris, 18, carried out a killing spree at Columbine that law enforcement experts called a watershed event in the response to active shooters.

Within 13 minutes of the first 911 call, Klebold and Harris fatally shot 12 students and a teacher and wounded 23 other people before killing themselves with gunshot wounds to the head. SWAT teams entered the school 47 minutes after the gunfire erupted.

An exhaustive FBI review of the police response at Columbine led to a more rapid response strategy during active shooter situations, according to Gagliano.

The "stark and important" lessons learned from the Columbine response, which was widely criticized, may have helped save lives Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Gagliano said. Before the Colorado shooting, responding officers would set up a secure perimeter around the crime scene before even thinking about moving on the suspect.

In Parkland, authorities say Nikolas Cruz, 19, fatally shot 17 people at his former school before blending in with the students and staff rushing out of the school building. He was arrested in a neighboring community later in the day.

"Nowadays, what we do is go to the sound of the guns," Gagliano said. "You get one, two, three, four people together. We're trained. We use particular formations."

Gagliano called it a "heterogeneous group" of first responders that could include local, state and federal agencies.

"You're going to the sound of the guns," he said. "The No. 1 goal is to interdict the shooter or shooters. In the old days, you took land. You went in. You clear the room. Then you slowly and methodically move to clear the next room. In this instance ... get to the shooter as quickly as possible and that's what they clearly did here."

The tactic, known in law enforcement circles as rapid deployment involving the first officer at the scene, began in earnest after the Columbine shooting.

More than half of mass shooting incidents are still in progress when officers arrive on the scene, with 75% requiring law enforcement to confront the shooter before the threat ends, Katherine Schweit, a former senior FBI official, wrote in a 2013 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin article.

A study of 35 active shooter incidents during 2012 found that 37% ended in less than five minutes and 63% in less than 15 minutes, according to Schweit. The average active shooter incident lasts 12 minutes.

The lessons learned from Columbine led the US Justice Department and other federal agencies to partially fund an active shooter program known as Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, or ALERRT, Schweit wrote.

The training, which was developed by the San Marcos, Texas, Police Department and the Hays County, Texas, Sheriff's Department and adopted by Texas State University in San Marcos, includes a 16-hour course that "prepares first responders to isolate, distract and end the threat when an active shooter is engaged," according to Schweit.

Since its creation in 2002, more than 105,000 law enforcement officers have been trained through the ALERRT program.

"Some of the lessons learned after Columbine, we called it post-Columbine, were stark and important and, I believe, saved a number of lives," Gagliano said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1462456

Reported Deaths: 20308
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2005922494
Lake992001456
Allen903391005
Hamilton70705539
St. Joseph63078746
Elkhart48098622
Vanderburgh46217523
Tippecanoe42115330
Johnson37119516
Hendricks35078455
Porter33900460
Madison28036530
Clark25186321
Vigo24768341
LaPorte22894307
Monroe22201243
Howard21344372
Delaware20937363
Hancock18289217
Kosciusko17513199
Bartholomew17399212
Warrick16060212
Wayne15757296
Floyd15399252
Grant14898293
Morgan13934230
Boone13172136
Noble11421140
Dearborn11355112
Henry11312201
Shelby11231150
Marshall11041166
Dubois10782152
Jackson10174104
DeKalb9944128
Cass9942142
Lawrence9914219
Huntington9823139
Gibson9131125
Montgomery9005140
Knox8762124
Harrison8718111
Whitley844771
Steuben8340102
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Putnam795197
Clinton792994
Miami7914133
Wabash7598138
Jefferson7551124
Ripley6993111
Adams6508101
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Greene5913111
Clay587173
Wells5814120
Decatur5754118
Jennings572276
Fayette5657121
Posey529146
LaGrange512996
Randolph4925128
Washington482067
Owen480398
Fountain463579
Spencer438156
Starke434086
Sullivan432164
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Carroll371349
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Parke305038
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Blackford266755
Newton228359
Brown222654
Benton213321
Crawford211231
Switzerland189414
Martin181921
Warren169520
Union163619
Ohio119516
Unassigned0742

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2403645

Reported Deaths: 30922
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2596932036
Cuyahoga2572672998
Hamilton1666711699
Montgomery1103831586
Summit1066861382
Lucas895171149
Butler78647924
Stark747301383
Lorain62885783
Warren49934468
Mahoning49735909
Lake46850586
Clermont43541428
Delaware38876210
Trumbull38576748
Medina37611416
Licking36901401
Fairfield33848331
Greene32124416
Portage31381356
Clark30277440
Richland28251420
Wood27660289
Allen24372392
Miami22806389
Muskingum22298244
Columbiana22095399
Wayne21275354
Tuscarawas18847423
Erie18041221
Ashtabula17932338
Marion17503231
Scioto16553203
Ross16163249
Pickaway15536173
Hancock15251227
Geauga15244221
Lawrence13847186
Huron13399182
Union1329683
Belmont13255247
Jefferson12864257
Sandusky12770197
Athens11949106
Knox11511195
Seneca11454200
Ashland10795174
Darke10673196
Washington10564168
Auglaize10152141
Crawford9854175
Shelby9699155
Brown9400140
Fulton9235148
Guernsey9109115
Defiance9057134
Highland9035143
Logan8955141
Clinton8719121
Mercer8640111
Madison8568104
Preble8002160
Williams7848135
Putnam7731135
Ottawa7629120
Champaign7556112
Jackson7383114
Perry714598
Coshocton7043136
Morrow694580
Fayette662287
Hardin6219125
Pike617086
Gallia594989
Adams5779124
Van Wert5779120
Henry565592
Hocking5521103
Carroll4828100
Wyandot482289
Holmes4747161
Paulding401163
Meigs375071
Monroe299368
Noble279851
Harrison279461
Morgan276848
Vinton239845
Unassigned08
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