As a shooter walks through the doors of a building and fires the first round, the time until his apprehension becomes increasingly limited.
“In the back of their mind, the clock is ticking,” Niles said.
So shooters won’t spend time breaking down doors to claim the victims inside, he said, and will choose more accessible targets instead.
Victims are generally chosen at random.
“If they do make it through that door, it’s a fight for your life.”
Odds of survival double for those who are in an optimistic mindset.
“You need to convince yourself that if this bad thing happens, you’re going to make it out alive.”
‘RESPONSE TIMES VARY’
The first information police officers receive may not be accurate, and officers often will be unfamiliar with the floor plan of the building.
In the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre on Dec. 14, 2012, when Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot 26 people and himself, the first 911 call dispatchers received reported two shooters, Niles said.
The person thought to be the second shooter turned out to be a parent who had been running past a school window with a cellphone, thought to be a weapon by the caller.
‘HAVE A PLAN’
On average, the first officers to respond will arrive at the location in three and a half minutes, he said.
However, in certain remote areas of the North Country, the response time could be a half hour or more, depending on where officers are patrolling when the shooting is reported.
“The sad thing about these types of situations is it’s probably going to be over when we (police) get there.”
Police are specially trained for these type of crisis situations, and their priority is to follow the gunshots and eliminate the threat, the sergeant said.
So they will not attend to the injured initially, he said, and EMTs will likely arrive by the time police eliminate the threat.